A youth centre in Summerland which had served the community for the past two decades closed its doors in September.
The Summerland Asset Development Initiative’s Unity Youth Centre, on Prairie Valley Road, had served hundreds if not thousands of students from Grades 6 to 12 over the years.
The club had its origins in the late 1990s and was open Monday to Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. For high school students, it was also open from 1 to 1:40 p.m. during the school’s lunch break.
In addition, special events had been offered by the organization.
Tom Jacques, president of the youth organization, said the decision to close came because of financial problems.
“The donations had fallen off,” he said. “We hadn’t had the money.”
The community had supported the youth centre and each spring, Zias Stonehouse Restaurant held a fundraiser for the organization. Support also came from the Rotary Club of Summerland and other community organizations.
While the municipality of Summerland had provided the building and while the wages of administrative coordinator Alyson Lindsay had been covered, the facility had other bills and expenses, including utilities and vehicle costs.
Jacques said the facility’s purpose was to help youths in Summerland develop the skills and assets they needed.
However, in recent years, the number of youths participating at the youth club had been declining. In part, this decline came because of a declining student population.
“Nobody really wants to have the doors shut,” Jacques said.
He added that he is hopeful that in the future, another organization will step forward to fill the vacancy left by the youth centre’s closure.
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