Wednesday, 17 August 2016 13:26

Community support for youth shelter continues along with construction

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
The Swift Current Kiwanis Club presented a cheque of $20,000 to Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter, Aug. 9. Pictured from left to right, volunteer organizer Charmaine Westbury, building coordinator Tom Westbury, Kiwanis President Larry Johnson, and Southwest YES Executive Director Betty McDougall. The Swift Current Kiwanis Club presented a cheque of $20,000 to Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter, Aug. 9. Pictured from left to right, volunteer organizer Charmaine Westbury, building coordinator Tom Westbury, Kiwanis President Larry Johnson, and Southwest YES Executive Director Betty McDougall.

The construction of Dorie’s House, an emergency shelter for homeless youth in southwest Saskatchewan, has been taking place at a rapid pace since a ground-breaking ceremony took place on the site just over a month ago.


The project, which is located in a downtown Swift Current neighbourhood, is a community build that involves donations of expertise, labour and materials from local contractors and businesses.
Southwest Youth Emergency Shelter (YES), a non-profit organization, continues to receive support from the community for this initiative.
The Swift Current Kiwanis Club made a donation of $20,000 in support of Dorie’s House on Aug. 9. The cheque presentation took place at the construction site, where work has already started on the building’s roof.
“Kiwanis Club has always been known for helping the youth of today,” Swift Current Kiwanis President Larry Johnson said. “It was a good fit for us with all the people and businesses and volunteers that are helping. It’s no-brainer getting involved.”
He noted this has been one of the largest single donations during his one-year term as president of the local Kiwanis club.
“It’s been an awesome year for fundraising and for helping programs like this with the youth of Swift Current,” he said.
According to Southwest YES Executive Director Betty McDougall, the community support for this project has been amazing.
“It is really exciting for all of us to be able to have this happen and have such community support for a very important issue in Swift Current and for the whole southwest,” she said. “We’ve had support not only locally, but regionally. Words can’t express how grateful we are for it.”
Dorie’s House will provide accommodation for six to eight young people of all genders between the ages of 14 and 18.
“Donations like this are extremely important because we are going to be starting with two staff 24/7,” she said. “So that is quite a cost. All the donations that we can receive are just going to be extremely helpful.”
The ongoing fundraising efforts benefit from the fact there will be no mortgage payments on Dorie’s House due to the community build.
Southwest YES has applied to the Saskatchewan provincial government for funding to support the operational costs of the shelter.
“We did receive a letter saying that we’re going to have to show that there is a need,” she said. “So that’s what we’re working on now. The door is still open as far as the Ministry of Social Services is concerned and we will continue talks with them.”
Southwest YES is therefore collecting information that will illustrate the need for a shelter in the area.
“We’ve received stories from people who have experienced children having no place to stay or young people having no place to stay,” she said. “So we do have some of those stories. We’re encouraging others to let us know. We’re going to really protect their confidentiality and their privacy, but that’s what we have to do to be even considered for funding.”
The construction of Dorie’s House is on schedule and building co-ordinator Tom Westbury has indicated the shelter will be completed in October.
“From that what we will do is hire and train staff so that all the staff are fully trained before the shelter actually opens, and looking at a start date for accepting youth as the beginning of December,” McDougall said.

Read 3024 times
Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer