The Community Foundation’s Aaron McRann poses in front of the Main Street location on Penticton’s Youth Centre, with Judy Lloyd, who is chairing the fundraising committee to make it a reality. (Submitted photo)

Penticton Youth Centre gains key resource

The Foundry health and social resources network will be setting up shop with the YES Project

Penticton will be joining the Foundry network, providing youth aged 12-24 with access to integrated health and social services, thanks to provincial funding, donations and support from the community.

“The emotional wellbeing of our youth is critical, and we want to make sure young people have the resources in place that will help them develop the resilience to deal with life’s challenges,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy said in a news release.

“By adding Penticton to the Found ry network, we’re helping more youth and their families get access to life-changing supports and services that will help them live a healthier life — physically and mentally.”

The centre, which will be called Foundry Penticton, will offer access to to core services, including primary care; mental health and substance use services; sexual health; youth and family peer support and navigation; housing, supported employment, income assistance and education supports.

That is expected to improve health and social outcomes for youths aged 12 to 24.

“Our child and youth mental health intake clinic for both younger children and youth will be co-located with the Penticton Foundry location and and provide a range of mental health and substance-use services,” Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy said.

“Young people living with mental health issues really benefit from this type of one-stop access to treat the whole person, physically, emotionally and mentally. It’s the kind of comprehensive intervention that can change lives.”

According to a joint news release from the Penticton and District Community Resources Society, the B.C. government and Foundry, advocacy efforts of the YES (Youth Engagement Strategy) Project was key to securing the commitment.

YES Project has been working toward building a youth centre in Penticton for a couple of years, plans for which were finalized in recent months. The Foundry Penticton resource centre will be located in the youth centre.

“This represents a milestone for our community’s journey of collaborating to build better services for our youth,” said Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen executive director Aaron McRann.

“The Youth Centre building, attracting Foundry to Penticton, the engagement of youth through the YES Project — these are all things that have taken community effort to achieve.”

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