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2014-05-08 at 17:17

Staying open

Youth Centres Thunder Bay president Colleen Peters
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Youth Centres Thunder Bay president Colleen Peters
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By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- A youth centre has vowed to keep its doors open despite the end of its pilot project status with the city.

The pilot project between the City of Thunder Bay and the Wasaya Group launched Youth Centres Thunder Bay in Victoriaville Mall in late 2012 to test a model for youth services.

Funding for the project ended on April 30, but Youth Centres Thunder Bay is continuing on saying it has serviced more than 240 youth on the South side of the city and fills a need in the area.

"There is no other centre like this in the community," board president Colleen Peters said.

The centre offers youth between 13 and 18 programming from homework help to cooking to the arts. There's also non-structured activities like computer access.

The centre has been forced to reduce its hours to three days a week since the pilot project ended, but it is still needed for marginalized youth Peters said.

"They can come here, they can hang out with each other, they can read ,they can always get a healthy meal and have a safe place to unwind," Peters said.

The centre costs around $70,000 a year to operate and is in various stages of funding requests from government agencies and the private sector.

Officials with the Youth Centre are now asking the city for a one-time $25,000 donation to help with operating costs while it's in that process. But really anything would help.

If the city doesn't come through, Peters said the centre will just have to work that much harder to stay afloat.

"It will be a struggle but I'm confident that we'll be able to keep the doors open," she said.
Mayor Keith Hobbs said the city is strapped right now as it has already restructured and cut management positions to battle costs from winter weather.

"It is a bad time right now for anyone to ask for money," he said.

"Right now I really want to tighten the purse strings so I don't think I'll be supporting that."

Hobbs wants the city to look long-term for its youth programming, maybe using the Fort William Gardens as a youth and senior centre along with the idea of using vairous community centres.

Peters said the organization is in favour of the city's plan to eventually have a permanent youth facility but the centre at Victoriaville is a good stop-gap measure while the city works out its plan.

 


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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
cariboukid says:
Always money for wars. Never any money to help each other.
It can be an awfully stupid world we've created.
5/8/2014 6:27:06 PM
chezhank says:
The audacity of the mayor to say: "It is a bad time right now for anyone to ask for money,". After the unfavourable first quarter variance was released April 28 at the committee of the whole, the mayor had the nerve to ask the city for $30,000 to host the Great Lakes & St.Lawrence 2014 Annual Meeting Cities Initiative of which he is chair and councillor Angus is co-chair to be held June 18-20.
5/8/2014 6:48:12 PM
Kam River says:
Mayor Keith Hobbs said the city is strapped right now as it has already restructured and cut management positions
And yet he "continues maybe using the Fort William Gardens as a youth and senior centre"
Which means he is still pushing ahead with his hockey rink. Multiplex.
Wonder how the city unions will feel when he starts slashing a burning their position for a hockey rink, or art gallery, or his unity bridge over the Kam?
5/8/2014 7:21:07 PM
trips says:
I find it odd that hobbs says a flat no to a 25,ooo request for youth yet is publicly supporting a 1.3 million dollar add on to this city budget with the event centre
5/8/2014 8:44:47 PM
sweetazmaple says:
well if anyone has an extra loonie or 10 to go stop by the centre and donate keep these kids of the street it would be a good investment
5/9/2014 9:25:50 AM
bike says:
where is $56000 city council spent as a down payment on the Provs for the Indian Friendship Youth centre
5/9/2014 9:33:08 AM
MacroTbayer says:
I think this photo says it all
5/9/2014 10:23:37 AM
signman says:
Mayor Hobbs has stated "It's a bad time right now for anyone to ask for money."

Exactly why we don't need and

CAN'T AFFORD A NEW EVENT CENTRE!

($106 million dollars; that will require a subsidy from city tax payers of well over a million dollars a year rising to at least $1.5 million by year five according to phase two feasibility study!
5/9/2014 12:24:36 PM
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