Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington is spearheading the creation of a hub of like-minded services from both the for profit and not for profit sectors. There will be 6-8 organizations that will all serve youth from different perspectives including physical health, mental health, counselling and mentoring services and more. Programs for youth will happen in this space and ultimately the goal is that youth can come to this hub to be treated, grow, gain volunteer hours, be involved and feel meaningfully engaged and connected to their community.
This idea was created out feeling the tragic loss of six males who died by suicide Fall 2017 in Centre Wellington. The feeling of hopelessness was overwhelming for an organization who’s vision is that every child feels connected to a caring and supportive community; they believe in themselves and their ability to reach their full potential. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Centre Wellington does that by offering a welcoming environment for all children and youth, to be part of mentoring relationships with volunteers, supported by individual or group programs. But clearly we are not doing enough. We needed to rethink how to serve youth so they do exactly that – believe in themselves and their ability to reach their full potential.
After speaking with different organizations and sitting at different leadership tables it was clear we were not the only ones feeling this way. This was and continues to be something the entire community grieves. And then we realized we are just a cog in the wheel – we all need to do better and serve more.
The “hub” will exist in the unused portions of the old Target building where Dollarama, Giant Tiger, Marks Work Wearhouse, Pet Value and the Restore are. These businesses don’t go the depth of the building so there is a large amount of “dead space” behind all of those businesses that would be difficult to lease due to the lack of store frontage. But that is what makes this space ideal for this kind of project. The anonymity of where you are going when you enter the door from the parking lot breaks barriers for many. We are working with 5 organizations right now and there is potential for more if they are the right fit.
We don’t know when this will be ready but as we go through the process, we will be sure to provide updates here. We are hoping for Fall 2019 but can’t guarantee that!
That is our update for now but if you have questions, we encourage you to contact our executive director, Kristen Drexler. If you would like to donate to this cause, you can go to the top of the page, click on the Donate button and select “Capital Campaign”.