Funding keeps teen support in place

Teen Junction establishes permanent funding through Regional District of North Okanagan

Stable funding means a Vernon agency is making a difference for teens at risk.

The Teen Junction Youth Centre has been expanding its programs since the Regional District of North Okanagan decided to provide permanent funding in May.

“It means Teen Junction will not be faced with closure again,” said Debbie Schiller, executive director.

“It has allowed us to expand and look to the future instead of worrying about whether we can pay the bills.”

Teen Junction provides a number of services to disadvantaged youth between the ages of 14 and 18, including recreation, meals, clothing and an advocate to help youth return to school.

Referrals are also made to other services such as housing, counselling and addiction treatment.

RDNO provided $66,000 this year, and that has helped increase the drop-in program from 17 to 22 hours per week.

“We have increased hot meals from three to five hours a week,” said Michelle Freebairn, youth programs co-ordinator.

A variety of field trips also take place.

“We got to the waterslides, tubing at Silver Star and we went to the beach and kayaking this year,” said Freebairn.

Christmas dinners bring teens, staff and volunteers together while a program has helped individuals transition from their teens to adult life.

Among the clients is Jade Hood, who is 17 but began going to Teen Junction when she was 13.

“The person I am today they helped me become,” said Hood, who is in school and raising a daughter.

Teen Junction’s long term goals are to expand operations to 26 hours a week, provide after-school activities for Grade 7 students and hire an outreach worker for street entrenched youth.

Schiller says RDNO’s participation has helped leverage support from the community.

“When people know we’re stable, it’s easier to access other funds,” she said.

While taking on another function can create financial challenges, RDNO director Buffy Baumbrough believes supporting Teen Junction made sense.

“It’s good to see the money allocated to programs is having an impact,” she said.

“I hope the programs will encourage teens to move forward with their lives in a positive way.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon veteran reaches 101 amid COVID-19 pandemic

Birthday celebration through the window at care home

Water draws Vernon artists together for exhibit

Gallery Vertigo open house Saturday for Spirit of Water

Lake Country Food Bank camera stolen

Silver Ford crew cab seen taking equipment from social service agency

Popular Vernon pond gets new observation deck

Work will start soon on structure at Cools Pond in the BX that will include roof covering

Lumby centenarian dies one week after milestone birthday

Carl Werner, who spent most of his 100 years in Cherryville, died Monday, Aug. 3

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Most Read