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Thursday October 17th, 2013

Posted at 2:00pm

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Things have turned around for the Windsor Youth Centre, which just one year ago was facing the possibility of closing its doors forever.

The centre says that things started to turn around with a $239,500 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Other groups, corporations, and private individuals then followed to see the WYC through its second year and beyond.

Chair of the board, Tamara Kowalska, says, “The WYC provides stability. We’re here six nights a week no matter what.” Stability requires resources, however, and a recent grant from OTF will cover over half of the WYC’s budget for the next three years. “That sends a really strong message to the community that our youth are a priority – we all need to do our part for them,” Kowalska says.

The WYC currently provides for at least 200 homeless youth with up to 65 walking through the doors on a given night. Without a reliable home, they come to the WYC for a hot meal, good company and essential services such as free laundry, toiletries, a food pantry, computers, homework help, referrals to other agencies, advocacy, and mentoring.

In gratitude to the community for its support, the WYC is hosting a free event at the Serbian Centre this Friday, October 18th at 7pm. An old-fashioned birthday party with live music, cash bar, and birthday cake donated by Nana’s Bakery and a chance to win airfare from WestJet Airlines.

A presentation at 8pm includes guest speaker Chief of Police Al Frederick, an awards ceremony, donations from CUPE 543 and the Kin Club, recognition of the OTF funding, and the launch of a new website and social media marketing strategy.

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