Youth At-Risk Steering Committee looks to the future.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The United Way of Guelph and Wellington has announced the membership of its newly formed Youth At-Risk Steering Committee. The committee is comprised of community members such as:
Executive Director of the Self-Help Resource Centre of Greater Toronto Roya Rabbani
owner of The Cornerstone Restraunt Mark Rodford
City Councillor June Hofland,
Principal of Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute Judy Sorbara
youth representitives
Jeff Way
Alex Demeray.
The Committee also bings in social service providers such as
Manager of Children's Services, Family & Children's Services of Guelph & Wellington, Sheila Markle
former Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Clinic, Vern Ledeitt
past board member of the Childrenís Aid Society, Janet Kaufman
service provider at the Welcome In Drop-In Centre, Ingrid McCrae

The committee is looking towards the future for at risk youth in Guelph. According to Morris Twist, the Executive Director of the http://www.unitedwayguelph.com/ the committee members were brought together based upon the skills they could contribute to the process. The two youth representitives were chosen to represent both youth that have used Change Now in the past and those that had not used the former shelter and drop-in centre.

This committee is an incredible opportunity for the community to assess the needs of at risk youth in Guelph and the surrounding area. The committee is holding several community meetings this week to gain input. The three meetings are being held at St. Stanislaus school, 19 Northumberland Street next to the Church of Our Lady. Each meeting is intended to provide a venue for different segments of the community:

Monday 23 July 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. for "Social Service Providers"
Tuesday, 24 July from 4 to 6 p.m. for "Youth"
Thursday. 26 July from 6 to 8 pm for "Community Members"

A distinct advantage in Guelph is that the university draws such a diverse population of people to the city which creates a wealth of experience and ideas. The community has stepped up with the United Way and the City of Guelph to provide for the emergency needs of youth. The committee can create a new shelter that can correct the yet unreleased reasons for Change Now's closure.

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