The City of Fort St. John will consider funding a youth drop-in centre for 12-months.
The recommendation came forward from City Staff at Monday’s city council meeting. For 16 weeks, a pilot project has provided Fort St. John youth a fun and safe "hangout." Youth aged 10-16 have attended the ‘Southside Centre’ on Wednesday through Saturday evenings.
Now that the pilot-program has wrapped-up, the City will review funding the centre for an entire year, at a cost of $131,000. Council has already set aside $75,000, which means $56,000 will need to be added to the 2010 budget.
On Monday, Mayor Bruce Lantz wondered if the low turnout number merrit the funding.
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And while Lantz says staff put a ton of work into the program, he points out that only around 15 kids a night attended the daily functions.
Over a 16 week period, 222 kids attended the drop-in on Saturday nights. Friday nights were the most attended, with 251 youth dropping-in (not including 100 kids that came out for the grand opening on September 11th.)
In the end, Council voted to consider funding the facility, but the final decision will be made during the 2010 budget deliberations in the upcoming months.