Skip to content

City to spend $1M on at-risk youth programs in Penticton

The programs will be funded over three years
Penticton City Hall. (Western News - File)

The City of Penticton is investing $1 million across three programs to reduce risks for youth in the community.

The three programs are run by the YMCA of the Southern Interior, Foundry Penticton, the Ooknakane Friendship Centre and the city’s bylaw services.

“An essential part of creating a safe and resilient community is having programs in place that support young people who might be at risk,” said Penticton Mayor Julius Bloomfield. “These projects are an important building block in filling in the cracks that some youth fall through. We need to show support and demonstrate in a practical way that the community cares.”

The funding comes from the federal government’s Building Safer Communities Fund and is being distributed through the City’s Social Development department over the next three years.

The Ooknakane’s Kwu Xast Program aims to provide all youth with opportunities to connect with their cultural heritage through land-based activities such as hunting, fishing and traditional crafts. This program will prioritize Indigenous youth but will be inclusive to youth of all cultures and backgrounds.

The YMCA will be providing an alternative to traditional school suspensions with structured activities and education opportunities, aiming to keep youth engaged and on track to reduce the risk of academic failure.

Both the Foundry and bylaw services programs are aimed to work together to better connect with youth in the community.

The Foundry will train and employ youth to work as peer mentors and crime prevention workers, making them positive role models who can build relationships with at-risk youth to help make positive decisions.

City bylaw will be running a branch of their community safety officer program to reach out to youth across the community directly and indirectly through advocacy and education.

“What makes this project unique is the collaborative and non-competitive approach taken by all the agencies involved,” says Jamie Lloyd-Smith, the city’s social development specialist. “There are lead agencies for the program but partners like the Okanagan Nations, School District 67, Okanagan College, and many others will play a role going forward. They will help refer clients, support program evaluation and provide support to the operators and the youth.

“This is a win-win for youth at-risk and for the community.”

The start dates for the programs have not been solidified yet and will be announced at a later date.

READ MORE: Penticton adopts safe public spaces bylaw

To report a typo, email:


Don’t miss a single story and get them delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up today for the Penticton Western News Newsletter.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.

Don't have an account? Click here to sign up

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
Read more