October 30, 2003

Pathways celebrates opening of new drop-in centre for youth

RICHMOND HILL – Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch and Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell joined Margaret Campbell, Executive Director of Pathways for Children, Youth and Families of York Region and Joann Simmons, York Region Commissioner of Community Services and Housing, to officially open Home Base Drop-In Centre’s new facility for homeless and at-risk youth this afternoon.
“In 2000 we recognized that at-risk and homeless youth throughout York Region had limited programs and services to assist them so we established Home Base, Pathways’ drop-in centre for youth in Richmond Hill,” said Margaret Campbell, Executive Director of Pathways for Children, Youth and Families.  “This new location, further north, is the culmination of many dreams and the community coming together to support York Region’s disenfranchised youth.”
Home Base Drop-In Centre offers a safe place for homeless youth, 14 to 20 years of age, to come for a hot meal and take part in opportunities for counselling, employment skills, and reconnecting with their families and/or society.
“Through our Homelessness Initiatives Fund, York Region has assisted Pathways with relocating to a new, larger facility that better meets the needs of this important youth program,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch. “Earlier this year, Regional Council also approved $330,000 in funding to cover staffing, administration and other needs of Home Base.”
“I am pleased that my annual Charity Golf Tournament this year raised $25,000 toward this much-needed facility for Home Base,” said Richmond Hill Mayor Bill Bell.
Youth homelessness continues to grow in York Region.  Over 4,000 youth are served each year through Pathways’ Home Base Drop-In Centre and group homes. They arrive with issues such as abuse, illiteracy and learning disabilities.  Through counselling, employment skills, life skills, and housing referrals and information, professional Child and Youth Workers work together with the youth to resolve their many issues.

The Regional Municipality of York is committed to providing cost-effective, quality services that respond to the needs of our rapidly growing communities.  York Region is comprised of the following nine area municipalities:  Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  For more information, visit our Web site at:  www.region.york.on.ca

Contact: Patrick Casey, Senior Media Relations Specialist, York Region

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