YES Project coming along

Chelsea Powrie

The Penticton YES Project has revealed the renovation plans for their new spot in the 500 block of Main street, which will house Penticton's own Foundry youth resource centre. 

"We're really excited," said Ian Gerbrandt, OneSky Community Resources representative working with the Foundry. "We've now completed the floor plan, we have some concept drawings."

The 21,000 square foot space will include a friendly greeting area, group program spaces, medical exam rooms and teaching areas to serve youth, all of which will resemble other Foundry centres like the recently opened Kelowna space. 

Local youth were consulted in every aspect of the planning stage for this centre, who requested things like free WiFi, which will be provided, and an open-concept space that will deter stigma by allowing youth to attend the centre without others judging what service they may be there to utilize. 

Already, the building has tenants on its upper floor, and the as-yet unfinished basement is being used weekly by an LGBTQ youth group, among others. YES Project coordinator Amberlee Erdmann said this just shows how eager the youth of the community are for the centre to be fully operational. 

Erdmann pointed to a pillar in the basement that youth had covered in construction paper and decorated with handprints and positive phrases, like "Living the dream" and "Love youth."

Despite all this positive progress, the YES project is still looking for donations. Recently, an anonymous donor stepped forward to offer to match up to $200,000 in donations over the next few months. 

"We have a $1.2 million campaign to complete the renovations of the main floor, and we're at $680,000 or $690,000, something like that," said Aaron McRann, executive director of the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan. "As the donations come in, they'll be matched from here forward until we reach another $200,000. So we have a chance to really put this over the top."

The renovations will begin within the next three weeks, in the hope that the centre will be complete and open to the public by the spring of 2019. 

To learn more about the YES Project or to donate, click here

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