Meeting planned on new youth centre in Leamington
A meeting will be held in Leamington later this month to discuss plans for a resource centre for youth.
It will be located at the former St. Joseph’s church.
A not-for-profit group called “Building Bridges” has purchased the church. It plans to spend nearly a million dollars to turn it into a centre for homeless youth.
Chair George Bergen says the idea took off when their group learned there were more than 100 homeless youth in the area.
“When we heard these stories, it was alarming” admits Bergen.
Right now, the only option for homeless youth is to go to Windsor.
Chris Danckaert says he would welcome a centre in Leamington. The 18-year-old left his mother's home about a year ago. Since then, he's been in and out of six different apartments.
“I love this town,” says Danckaert. “But it’s hard to live here when you can't find somewhere to stay or food to eat all the time.”
Bergen says they are working on the plans with the town as well as Leamington District Memorial Hospital, the public high school and the Access Leamington Youth Centre.
He tells CTV Windsor their initial plans include a kitchen, as well as a homework area, even mental health services.
“Our goal is to get them back in the community, but also give them the help they need while they are here” says Bergen.
If approved by town council, the next phase of the project would include a residential component.
A meeting will be held April 19 at Leamington high school to allow residents to ask questions about the plan.
Bergen hopes to open the resource centre by the end of the summer.