With their base grants confirmed by Penticton city council in their budget deliberations last week, the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching of the fundraising campaign for the new Youth Centre.
Long time resident and business leader Judy Lloyd has accepted the role chair for the fundraising efforts.
“I feel very strongly that our youth need our support. They need a safe place to go when they need help,” said Lloyd. There are so many youth, from all walks of life, that are struggling today. It’s our responsibility to look after them.”
The Community Foundation has negotiated the purchase of 501 Main St. and will be taking possession of the building on Jan. 15, 2018.
“We have made great strides in a short period of time,” said Aaron McRann, executive director of the Community Foundation. “The community has already stepped up in a significant way and we currently have more than $900,000 committed towards our $3-million goal.”
“We are very pleased by the support from the City of Penticton because it shows that council has been listening to our young people in their work with the YES Project,” said Lloyd. “Our youth know what they need and they have been telling us for five years that a centralized hub of resources will make it easier to access mental health resources.”
The new Penticton Youth Centre will offer one-stop support for both young people and their parents. For example, when a young person needs help with a mental health crisis, there will be services for both youth and their parents on how to navigate the healthcare system, in addition to offering useful tools and resources to cope with other difficult issues in a safe, youth-friendly place with a range of resources and supports.
In addition to support from Penticton youth, the youth centre has been endorsed and supported by more than 20 local organizations who all support youth through their own service delivery systems. All agree that a centralized hub for service delivery will improve the effectiveness of existing services.
“All young people deserve to thrive and today many of our youth are not thriving. We can’t stand by and watch it happen, expecting someone else to solve the problem,” Lloyd. “Our youth have spoken and our service providers agree. We need this youth centre. It’s up to all of us to help make it happen.”
For more information about the youth centre or to make a donation contact McRann at 250-493-9311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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