By Lethbridge Herald on May 14, 2015.
5th on 5th Youth Services has raised enough money this year to keep programs operating until June 30, 2015.
In the face of what the organization called significant cuts, the Youth Employment Centre was busy building resiliency and self-sufficiency into young people’s lives, according to a 5th on 5th press release.
Over the past nine months, the centre had 14,424 visits and printed 10,768 resumes.
The negotiation process with the Government of Alberta for a Youth Employment Strategy was stopped mid-stream by the early election, the press release added, before 5th on 5th was able to secure future funding.
“This means we will have to cut back and only offer our federally-funded programs starting July, 2015,” said the press release. “Lethbridge and surrounding communities will lose services that our young adults have relied upon for 20 years. As well, another four dedicated staff members will lose their jobs in addition to nearly 10 who have been cut in the past five years.”
The release added the board of directors has made the decision to keep 5th on 5th open in a different capacity rather than close entirely.
“We are in this for the long haul, and we are changing the way 5th on 5th operates to better reflect the available funding, now and in the future,” said board president, Jeff Meadows. “We will remain open with different services and in different capacities, while remaining true to our mission.”
Meadows said the organization is looking at strategically sharing space with other agencies in the building so the location remains a hub and safe place for people to come and get help. Agencies interested in co-locating in the 5th on 5thYouth Services building can call 403-329-3555.
“These changes are based purely on a lack of funding,” said Meadows. “This is not what we want to do — it is what we have been forced to do despite significant community need as employment supports impact poverty reduction. It is our organization’s best opportunity to move forward and continue advocating for the needs of 15 to 30 year old workers in southern Alberta.”
He added 5th on 5th is asking the public to communicate the importance of programming that helps teens and young adults connect to the workforce to their government representatives.
Look for a complete story in Friday’s print edition of The Herald.
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