Local youth and caregivers are being asked to weigh in on the development of a new youth-centred facility being planned for Williams Lake.
George Warr, project lead for the Foundry Cariboo Chilcotin, who works at the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, the lead agency for the foundry, said a designer who has developed other foundries in B.C. is helping the local team and part of the process is asking youth and families what they want and need.
“We want the foundry to be accessible to all cultures and all walks of life,” Warr said. “If we spend time now in planning on how the building will feel and function we can design it so it’s flexible and will work for a long, long time.”
A member of the youth advisory committee said the foundry will be an asset for youth in the community because it can provide services such as counselling and medical care as well as addictions, substance use, and mental health help and school and work-related help.
Not only will the foundry be a safe place for youth ages 12 to 24, but it will help youth connect with each other, the youth, who did not want to be identified said.
“I wish that there was a foundry available to me when I was younger, growing up in Williams Lake.”
To garner input there are two online surveys — one for youth and one for caregivers. Everyone who fills out a survey will be entered to win one of four $50 vouchers to a local business, including The Open Book, Bean Counter Bistro and Coffee, Kit and Kaboodle and Walmart.
In some ways it is interesting to be designing it during the COVID19 era, but it will result in a space that ensures everyone stays safe, Warr said.
“The foundry will be more than a building,” he added. “Youth will have access to doctors, gender care and more services for them and their families.”
He hinted there will be fundraiser taking place in May or June that will encompass some kind of fitness challenge with ‘great’ prizes. Once details are finalized it will be announced.
Additionally, a family advisory committee Facebook page is being created where people can share ideas and thoughts. It should be ready to go by the end of March.
Before Christmas it was confirmed that the foundry will be going into the building on Fourth Ave. South in the space that formerly housed Canadian Mental Health which is now located on Third Ave. South above the Bank of Montreal.