The Centre for Young Parents, formerly known as Support to Society for Parenting and Pregnant Teens has been given the go-ahead to start a new Thrift Shop Program with just over $150,000 secured via the provincial government’s Civil Society Fund.
Executive Director Shauna Livesey says the project has been in the works for a few years now.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions about how to get it going, the feasibility of the program itself and I would say the last eight months or so we really started to see a clear need for it in the community. We decided we wanted to fill that need,” she says.
Livesey feels that there is still much work to be done to support young parents in the Grande Prairie area.
“There’s a lot of people out there that kind of fall between the cracks and that’s especially the case for young people with employment. It can be hard to work a job in the hours required by an employer or even just getting some of those life skills that they need to push forward is really important,” she explains.
“This thrift shop is not only about offering low-cost alternatives, but also providing support for young parents in other ways. We’re working towards offering a work placement program for young parents in the future. We will try and do things like resume building, help them with preparing for a job interview and just overall help with finding their first job.”
Livesey has been involved with the organization for a couple of years now, with a clear mission.
“I really saw a gap in our community but also a gap in our programming. Getting funding is a challenge for many non-profit organizations, including us. We’re just trying to be forward-thinking in terms of how we can diversify those funding sources,” she adds.
The organization also offers services like a free food pantry, donation room, free child care, parenting support, and education, as well as mental health counseling. The organization is still in the planning stages for the program, but they are hoping to open up the store and program by the coming fall.