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New programs being offered at local community centre

The Shop Community Space is now offering more programming to Grande Prairie residents. The centre originally opened back in January but has only started holding scheduled programs recently. Financial and Administrative Director Deborah Gregson says the space was designed to give residents a place to feel safe.

“The whole idea of this space was to create an inclusive environment where anyone and everyone would feel comfortable and be able to grow and develop and find opportunities.”

The space on 97 Avenue was purchased back in May 2017 and has been under renovations since then. Even though work is still being done they are starting to hold events like sober dances, karaoke nights and a weekly bag lunch social. They also run a store featuring crafts made by people who visit the centre.

Gregson says she will be talking to other community organizations so that the centre could possibly start hosting drop-in sessions for people with addictions or those who may be living on the streets. She says hosting those sessions may be tough though.

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“It’s difficult for us to offer complete drop in because our building is for the entire community and it has to be a safe space… Anybody who is actually under the influence, it’s just not gonna work for them to be hanging out here. At the same time, we do want to provide some meaningful activity and a purposeful place they can be during the day if they are trying to spend their time in a good way.”

In the next few months, Gregson hopes to continue to start new structured programs at the centre and would also like to open it up to be used as an event space for meetings and parties.

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