Queen Charlotte teen centre needs help

  • Jan. 8, 2003 4:00 p.m.

Submitted by Teen Centre Parents-
Did you know that the funding for the Teen Center in Queen Charltote from the Ministry of Children and Family Development has been cut as of Nov. 27th? There is no money available and we have not been able to come up with an alternate source of funding. The Teen Center is still running at this time, but is doomed to close when the fundraised funds run out, and the operating costs cannot be met. Without funding, our Teen Involvement Worker who has the experience and a very good rapport with the teens will be forced to seek employment elsewhere leaving the Teen Center without someone to run it.
The center is an extremely important asset to our communities, as it provides a safe, drug and alcohol free environment for teens ages 13-18. Teens come from Port Clements, Tlell, Lawn Hill, Skidegate, Sandspit, and Charlotte to use this center. There are a variety of activities available such as pool, air hockey, fooseball, video games, an assortment of board games and a computer with Internet service. Saturday night movie nights and other fun scheduled events are options for teens. The Teen Center presently is open Friday and Saturday nights from 6:30pm to 12am. It used to be open on other nights as well, but that has been eliminated due to lack of resources.
The funding cuts affect the island’s teens immensely as they have no alternative places to go such as ice rinks, swimming pools, rec. centers, or movie theatres that are available in other centers. If the Teen Center closes our teens will be forced to be out on the streets once again! Some of them commented: “When teens in Charlotte have nothing else to do, they often turn to drugs and alcohol! Other than private residences, there is no other place for us to hang out. “-Jessica Collingridge “There is nothing else to do in this town! We need somewhere else to go besides school or home where we can hang out with friends.” – JP Peerless
Our community has been trying to get a teen center going for over twenty years. It was finally made possible with a grant from Gwaii Trust in 1999 and the efforts of many hardworking community volunteers. The center became operational in August 1999 with the Fresh Start Program. Funding was allocated by the Ministry of Children and Families for a Teen Involvement Worker who also stepped into the role of the QCC Teen Center Coordinator. Although no money was ever provided for operational costs, the program paid the Teen Involvement Worker’s wages. She did everything from supervising the teens to organizing activities, fundraising, bookkeeping and managing the daily upkeep of the center.
We are actively looking for alternate sources of funding for a Teen Involvement Worker. Meanwhile, we are continuing to fundraise for operating costs with scheduled events. We will be hosting the bottle drive this Sunday January 12, and will continue to do so approximately every 3-4 months. Also, the center is available for rental for birthday parties, meetings, etc.
Too much hard work and effort has gone into the QC Teen Center to let it just close down. The center has the only ongoing programs for teens. These programs are preventative, helping to keep teens off the streets and from using drugs and alcohol. This is a very valuable asset to our communities that we can’t afford to lose!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP! If you have any ideas for funding, would like to give a donation, led a helping hand volunteering, or would like more information, please contact Tracy Duke at 559-7705. Thank you for your support!