The word “gap” was included several times in Bernadette MacDonald’s speech Tuesday afternoon, acknowledging a contribution of $150,000 from the federal government.
MacDonald, vice chair of SHYFT Youth Services Society, said she was pleased that the project selection review committee selected SHYFT’s project for one-year funding.
“We feel these two intervention services (programming and outreach) will assist in stabilizing and potentially alleviating further homelessness for these youth, ages16-24, as they benefit from these services,” she said.
The funding will enable the society to offer services from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Friday.
“We know there are still gaps in services. We also know that no one wants youth who are homeless to be without housing that will ensure their safety and security. As a ‘community’ we have a lot of work to do to develop a range of supportive housing options so homelessness in the youth population can be avoided,” she said.
“We look forward to continued collaboration with all our community and government partners to address the gaps and strengthen all our services,” added MacDonald.
“Youth deserve nothing less.”
SHYFT provides a variety of services to youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Services include mentoring, referrals to employment opportunities and skills training and transportation to appointments and emergency services.
West Nova MP Greg Kerr made the funding announcement saying that the funds are being provided through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy program.
Last year SHYFT opened in January after receiving federal funding for capital costs to buy its Victorian home at Trinity Place in Yarmouth. Fundraising also contributed towards costs.
In March SHYFT received word that interim funding from the Department of Community Services was being cut. At the same time, an announcement was made that the province would be funding an outreach team of 10 throughout the province. Split Rock, another organization providing youth services in the area, received one of those workers.
The SHYFT house closed for residential services in May and June. But reopened in July to operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.