Waypoints is preparing to open the region’s first every Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.
This will be a facility for younger people who’ve experienced abuse or were witnesses to a crime to get the support they need to cope with the trauma they’re facing.
Back in March, the RMWB and RCMP approached Waypoints’ board about whether they would be up for operating the facility. The board unanimously approved the request.
Executive Director Michele Taylor tells Mix News the centre will provide everything youth need instead of travelling to different locations for services
“One centre, one location that parents can bring their children and youth to get services all in one place, so the RCMP, Northeast Alberta Child Services, counselling, and a variety of other services would come to that location to provide wraparound services and support.”
Right now, parents would need to bring their children to other major cities across the province to access a centre like this. Places like Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer, and Grand Prairie already offer a ‘one-stop’ facility.
Taylor says other projects pushed back the creation of the CYAC.
“We’re working on multiple projects, the RMWB is working on multiple projects for the community, as are the RCMP and Child Services – so we have our hands in many different pies, so to speak.”
The idea is to make the current Unity House, in downtown Fort McMurray, the location for the centre – opening in September.
Construction on Schedule for New Unity House
Waypoints’ new Unity House in Timberlea is expected to open around September.
Work started on the new building almost one year ago in April 2017 and will feature 45 dormitory-style rooms for families.
“It’s going to be an incredible achievement for Waypoints and the community,” Taylor added. “We’re really excited about the new space.”
Before the CYAC can open, the new Unity House must be operational so families in need don’t have to wait for service while the group moves from space to space.