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Sault Ste. Marie is getting a youth hub

Proposed location is across the street from the Dennis Street bus terminal
Former Oddfellows Hall
The former Oddfellows Hall on Dennis Street could soon serve as Sault Ste. Marie’s first youth hub. An offer has been made to purchase the building for the hub, which would house a number of services, including a mental health clinician and a nurse practitioner.

A consortium of local social agencies has secured core funding for a downtown youth hub.

City councillors will learn details on Monday of the project, which will be one of 15 integrated service hubs across Ontario aimed at filling gaps in the youth service system.

Tom Vair, the city's deputy chief administrative officer for community development and enterprise services, says the proposed local location is the former Oddfellows Hall at 124 Dennis St.

It will be a one-stop shop for youth aged 12 to 25, offering services related to:

  • mental health
  • substance use
  • health promotion
  • employment counselling
  • food security
  • housing and income support
  • cultural and LGBTQ2+ support
  • anti-human trafficking

City council will be asked Monday to contribute $100,000 for leasehold improvements at the site.

Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario will supply a half-million dollars a year in operating funds for the Sault Ste. Marie hub, as well as $100,000 to buy or upgrade the building.

"While it is hoped the location at 124 Dennis St. advances, the stakeholders may have to look at other options should an agreement not be finalized," Vair says in a report prepared for Monday's council meeting.

The partners involved in the project include:

  • Sault Ste. Marie District Social Services Administration Board
  • Algoma Family Services / AFS Foundation
  • Canadian Mental Health Association – Algoma
  • John Howard Society
  • Algoma Public Health
  • Indian Friendship Centre
  • Children’s Aid Society Algoma

Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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