Province backs youth centre

The YES Project has its first anchor tenant.

The provincial government announced today Penticton is the next community to join the Foundry network.

Foundry Penticton will offer easy access to core services including primary care, mental health and substance use services, sexual health and more to youth 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 provide a range of mental health and substance-use services,” said Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy.

“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.”

A driving factor for Penticton securing provincial backing for Foundry Penticton was the work of the YES Project, which has been working on opening a local youth centre with the support of more than 20 community partners.

“We are excited that Foundry Penticton will be a long-term, anchor tenant in the new Penticton Youth Centre,” said Aaron McRann, Executive Director with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen. “This represents a milestone for our community’s journey of collaborating to build better services for our youth.”

The YES Project is in the process of buying a space on Main St., with $400,000 support from the city. Fundraising efforts, however, are ongoing to bridge the gap to the needed $3M. $910,000 has been raised to date.

The youth centre — where Foundry will be located — will be managed by Penticton & District Community Resources Society, which will receive $400,000 in ministry funding and philanthropic support.

Foundry Penticton will join other centres launched in Kelowna, Vancouver, Prince George, and Campbell River as well as those in development in Victoria, Abbotsford and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.

The centre is expected to be accepting clients by fall 2018.

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