A New YearHappy New Year!
Last Sunday I visited Evangel Pentecostal church and spoke about The Beacon and the needs of the kids and the things we are doing. It was a nice service led by a visiting evangelist. Pastor Paul Shank was very welcoming to us and our message.
The Beacon was closed during Christmas and New Years, obviously, because school was out and the kids were, hopefully, in a warm and loving home environment. But are they really?
HOW ABOUT IN BRIGHTON?The drop in centre that operates in Frankford is something that we might aspire to some day. It is a private house, located downtown near everything, and almost feee to rent. The owner is a builder who did the renovations, and while the youth centre exists they can stay there and use the place. Kids from the community who might otherwise come home to an empty house, can instead hang out at the Frankford Youth Centre four days a week. They open after school and stay open until 5:00 PM Thursdays and Fridays and even later, until 8:00 pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
|an outdoor gig in front of the Frankford Youth Centre|
According to a member of the DBIA (Downtown Business Improvement Association) who I was talking to, most small towns have a youth centre for groups such as ours. He thought it was a shame that Brighton had so little to offer our 'on the edge' type kids.
So where are all the empty houses in Brighton, just waiting to be bought by a builder and renovated, and rented out to us...?
Ah, reality sets in... people are struggling just to make ends meet.
Actually we've been asking around about alternative (less expensive) locations.
We could try the Ontario Agriculture building next door to ENSS. It's been vacant for several decades now.
|the empty hallway - vacant rooms |
for the last twenty years...
And below is one of the larger rooms, almost the size of a regular school classroom. It could be used for large group events, shooting pool or other such things, but it doesn't have sinks or water in the room for clean up or food preparation.
Yes, it looks stark now, but so does anything that isn't painted or furnished yet. Jeff Kawzenuk, principal at ENSS, said he thought it would be an ideal location for a drop-in centre for the ENSS kids.
I agree, but some kids may stay away because the building is shared with the OPP.
Whatever else happens, The Beacon either needs to find new
sources of money, or it needs to find cheaper digs.
|the larger room - pretty bleak now, but...?|
Maybe someone has a house downtown, or loft space, or something cheap(er) to rent.
In the meantime we welcome all the kids who have been making The Beacon a regular stop. The food is waiting, the pool tables are prepped & swept and the volunteers are all ready to welcome any familiar and unfamiliar faces.
Many thanks to all those who have contributed generously so far to the work of Brighton Youth Unlimited.