Social Development

Saint-André youth shelter receives funding for expansion and renovation (09/08/28)

NB 1236

Aug. 28, 2009

SAINT-ANDRÉ (CNB) - The provincial and federal governments have joined together to provide financial assistance for the expansion and renovation of a youth shelter in Saint-André.

Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock, who is also minister responsible for housing, and Tobique-Mactaquac MP Mike Allen, officially opened the new addition of Centre Jeunesse Oasis Youth Centre today.

"We are pleased to join our partners in this project to see more shelter units being created for the benefit of young people from Madawaska and Victoria counties," said Lamrock. "A safe, secure place for young people is crucial to their development, and is part of our government's efforts to better support youth at risk in the province."

The shelter received funding for improvements as part of the Canada-New Brunswick Shelter Enhancement Program.

"The Government of Canada is committed to making affordable housing available in New Brunswick and across Canada for those who need it most," said Allen. "These projects are helping young people in our community get access to safe and suitable housing, and build a stronger future for themselves."

Allen attended on behalf of Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development Canada, and minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

The project received $157,654 from the federal and provincial governments to assist with repairs to the existing facility, and the addition of two apartments and three extra rooms as part of the Shelter Enhancement Program.

Centre Jeunesse Oasis Youth Centre is a group home for at-risk youth aged 12-to-18 from the Madawaska and Victoria areas, as well as other areas of the province. The centre provides shelter, support and an educational program for up to six young men or young women at any given time.

A new program consisting of two supervised apartment settings has been added to prepare older youth for independent living as they move through the program.

"Since 1992, Centre Jeunesse Oasis Youth Centre has been providing a safe, secure home for young people," said Hubert Morin, president of the centre's board of directors. "We are very pleased to have an opportunity to expand our facility and make necessary improvements. This funding has enabled us to better prepare young people to develop the life skills and confidence to live independently."

The Canada-New Brunswick Shelter Enhancement Program provides financial assistance for repairs or the rehabilitation of emergency shelters and second-stage housing to an acceptable standard of health, safety and security for victims of family violence, occupants, and accessibility for persons with disabilities. It also aims to increase the number of emergency shelters and second-stage housing units available to women and children, or youth who are at risk.

09/08/28

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sheri Strickland, Department of Social Development, 506-444-3730; Michelle Bakos, Office of Minister Finley, 819-994-2482; Patricia Montreuil, communications and marketing consultant, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., 506-851-2229.

09/08/29