Mission Bon Accueil inaugurates a new youth service center in Montréal-Nord – Montréal
The Welcome Hall Mission officially opened the doors of its brand new youth service center on Monday morning. The resource moved to Montreal North during the pandemic after noticing a desperate need for community services for young people in the area where 30 percent of its younger clientele live.
“We began to notice that many young people who requested services downtown came from various boroughs around Montreal, particularly in the north. So it made sense to us that people could access services closer to where they live, ”said Sam Watts, CEO of Welcome Hall Mission.
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The space is located on the second floor of the mission’s free grocery store. It includes a seating area and workspaces, and offers baby clothes and supplies for new mothers. The service aims to help young people facing adversity or homelessness get to where they want to be.
“This will be a resource that allows us to connect them with people in the community who can help them, such as the health network,” Watts said.
Montreal-North is a corner of the island that experiences high levels of poverty and school dropouts. Borough mayor Christine Black said there was an urgent need for more services like the Welcome Hall mission in the region.
“I am really happy that this type of service is starting in Montreal North, because it will make a big difference here for young people and families,” said Black.
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Svetlana Chernienko was 18 when her family started using the Welcome Hall grocery store and returned years later when she escaped an abusive relationship. The mental health advocate says the service has influenced who she is today.
“It changed my life knowing I had support when I needed it. Every time I went there were always people there who liked with open arms, ”she told Global News.
Welcome Hall Mission hopes to build trust in the community through the Youth Service Center, in order to help others on the path to success.
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