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New emergency youth shelter halfway done

Construction on the new location for the Sunrise House Youth Emergency Shelter is approximately 50 per cent complete, with the hope that the shelter will be ready to go in the fall. The new facility will have more space, rooms, and wheelchair accessibility, for youth aged 12 to 17.

Executive Director Tanya Wald says it makes them happy when youth walk out of the shelter to start their own life feeling supported.

“Home, that’s what they are looking for. When young people walk in and say they feel safe and that the shelter feels like home it means a lot to us. If they feel supported and cared for it matters to us, just to be able to come in and be calm and relaxed.”

Wald adds the shelter will teach those who use the facility life skills like paying rent, bills, and groceries.

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“So when they are living independently and say something happened and they are running into trouble, they have those people they can pick up the phone and say, ‘hey what do I do I need some help’. So really, just transitioning them out of service.”

The shelter will also include a quiet room Wald refers to as a ‘Katia’ room, built in honour of a former client who passed away.

Capital Campaign Manager Sunrise House Chantale Doucette-Chalifoux says they are also in the process of launching a campaign called a lock campaign to help raise money.

“We are looking to launch what is called a lock campaign where people can purchase locks with a slogan of ‘lockout homelessness, lockout hunger, and lockout exploitation’, and that structure will sit at the shelter once it’s done.”

The society has about $1.3 million left to raise to help get the project over the line.

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