The YES Project won city council’s support in finding a place for their proposed youth centre.
“I think this is a must,” said Coun. Tarik Sayeed after a presentation from a group of youth involved in the Youth Esteem Project, along with Aaron McRann, executive director of the South Okanagan Community Foundation.
“We have enough pledges today to know we can start building tomorrow if we had the spot,” said McRann. “We need to do it as soon as possible. Kids lives are at stake.”
He said the ideal location would be in the downtown area, with access to walking areas and amenities.
“In a perfect world, we would be looking at a flat lot that includes some outdoor space,” said McRann.
He used the empty lot near Nanaimo and Ellis as an example, adding that he recognized that land had already been earmarked for a future South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre.
“Obviously there is another group, an important group, that is in need of that spot,” said McRann.
The YES project has reached out to the SOPAC group, he continued, but didn’t think it would be possible to fit into their plans without massive changes.
“It’s safe to say there is support here,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, who suggested there might also be the possibility of a private donor helping with land.
City staff will now work with the YES project to come up with suitable possible locations.