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September 25, 2009
Edmonton… Homeless youth in the Edmonton area now have additional help to get them off the streets through a new drop-in centre operated by the Youth Emergency Shelter Society (YESS) and supported by the Alberta government.Through the Alberta government’s Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), YESS is receiving $750,000 over three years for its new Armoury Youth Centre located in Edmonton’s Old Strathcona area. The Armoury will serve homeless youth and those at-risk of becoming homeless by providing programs to address addiction and substance abuse, and health and mental health issues. It will also provide positive role models for youth as well as supports for education and employment readiness, connection to cultural resources and assistance with developing parenting skills.
“Young people need support to make positive choices in their lives that will ultimately benefit the whole community,” said Janis Tarchuk, Minister of Children and Youth Services. “The Armoury Youth Centre will empower youth and give them hope to create brighter futures for themselves and their community.”
“We are thrilled with this announcement,” said Debra Cautley, Executive Director of YESS. “The reality is that the Youth Centre Project comes with a daunting financial requirement. The SCIF grant is a great foundation as we undertake this funding challenge and we are counting on our friends and neighbours to help us make it the rest of the way.”
“Programs such as those offered by the Armoury Youth Centre are examples of the excellent work being done in communities to support our young people,” said Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and MLA for Edmonton-Mill Creek, who attended the Armoury’s grand opening to make the announcement. “I’ve supported YESS for over 20 years and I commend them for their commitment to helping at-risk youth.”
The Safe Communities Initiative is a partnership of nine government ministries that are working closely with police, community groups, municipalities, businesses and social agencies to find meaningful and long-term solutions to address crime in communities. Applications for the second round of SCIF funding are now available to municipalities, Aboriginal communities or non-government organizations to develop crime reduction and prevention pilot projects at the grassroots level. For more details visit: safecommunities.gov.ab.ca/scif. The deadline for applications is November 6.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Roxanne Dubé Coelho
Children and Youth Services
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