Group homes defended in wake of slayings

An Alberta youth worker and hip hop artist who spent years bouncing around foster homes wants to send his own positive message amid a controversy swirling around a group home east of Edmonton.

EDMONTON — An Alberta youth worker and hip hop artist who spent years bouncing around foster homes wants to send his own positive message amid a controversy swirling around a group home east of Edmonton.

At a public meeting with concerned residents last month, officials at Bosco Homes agreed to erect fences to reduce the number of runaways from the group home.

Two 14-year-old boys from the facility east of Edmonton have been charged in the slayings of a man and woman whose bodies were found in a rural home June 1.

One boy is charged with first-degree murder, the other with being an accessory after the fact in the deaths of Barry Beonke, 68 and girlfriend Susan Trudel, 50.

Troy Taylor, who performs under the moniker Ambiguous, said the incident shouldn’t cast a shadow over troubled youth, many of whom are sincerely trying to turn their lives around.

“We need to work together in the community to fill gaps and make sure (young people) have positive role models,” he said.

Taylor speaks with authority not only because of his position as a youth worker at the Old Strathcona Youth Society, developing programs and workshops for youth, but also as someone who spent part of his formative years in foster homes.

Taylor was expected to participate in a benefit concert for the youth society July 8.

Several other artists, many of whom have also been in government care, were also expected to take the stage in an effort to raise funds.