By Olivia Robinson
Published June 19 2018
Executive director Marg Cox announced at Point in Time’s annual general meeting on June 12 that Haliburton’s forthcoming youth hub has secured $985000 from Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario.
The funds are broken down to $300000 each year for three years with an additional $85000-worth of money in capital.
“It’s almost beyond words” said Cox of the funding finally being confirmed. “Youth in our community have needed a place to belong a place that they can contribute to for a long time. And now there’s an opportunity to provide that space where youth feel welcome and have a voice in what it’s going to look like and co-create together with us.”
At Point in Time’s AGM several young people involved with spearheading the youth hub project presented a short video featuring Haliburton’s youth. The emotive video put together by students spoke to the county’s need for a youth centre. These young people were celebrated by Point in Time for their contributions to the community.
Although the youth hub project is still awaiting a service contract its first space committee meeting was held on June 14.
“We’ve got a great group of people” she said of the committee which is composed of service providers youth and designers. Cox hopes a discussion on a specific timeline will happen soon as they plan to open the space in fall 2018 but the exact renovation schedule rests on contractor availability. Even the youth involved in the project are expressing an interest in doing some of the physical work involved in creating the space.
According to Cox the biggest upgrade needed to the future site of the youth hub – the former Lighthouse Pentecostal Church – is accessibility.
“We want to make sure we put in accessible washrooms and there needs to be either ramps or a [stair lift].”
Haliburton is just one of six youth hubs that received funding out of the 39 applications to Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario funded by the provincial government. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services will provide a backbone to the project.
According to the province the new youth hubs will be walk-in centres geared towards young people aged 12 to 25. There they can access mental health services addiction treatments counselling as well as connect education employment and housing services. The other five new hubs will be located in Eastern Champlain (Cornwall area) Kenora Malton North Simcoe and Niagara Region. There are currently three existing hubs in Toronto as well as one in Chatham.
Cox said she’s appreciative that Point in Time is co-leading the youth hub planning process in partnership with the Haliburton Highlands Health Services.
“I’m really grateful to community members who already are saying ‘we want to do what we can to support this.’”