A new program for the city’s youth is falling through the cracks of the system, but could still land on its feet as the sustainability ship gets righted.
The Columbia Basin Trust’s Community-Directed Youth Funds (CDYF)—which will provide $100,000 to the city over the next four years—have been accepted, but is far from signed, sealed and delivered.
City council endorsed, in principle, the continued pursuit of the funds at its April 22 meeting—at the behest of Ann Damude, Rossland Sustainability Commission (SC), and Michelle D’Entremont, CBT youth liaison—through the SC and the Neigbourhoods of Learning (NOL) committee.
However, at a subsequent meeting council cut the SC’s funding, and the NOL informed council it did not have the capacity to handle the extra workload.
Even so, council approved a motion to accept the funds.
“I think we can do something great with this in the community,” said councillor Kathy Moore. But I find it ironic that we are directing it to NOL, who does not have capacity to do this, and the sustainability commission who just had their funding cut.”
But the motion on the CDYF grant opportunity will allow city staff to move forward with drafting a work plan. City staff involvement “will ensure the feasibility and sustainability of the work plan and will give the CBT the assurance required for distribution of the funds,” a city staff report read.
The grant is expected to increase local activities, opportunities and services for youth ages 12 to 19. CDYF commits $100,000 to communities and their catchment areas over a four-year period (normally $25,000 per year), specifically to enhance local opportunities and/or services targeted at youth.
There are no direct costs to the city. Staff participation will include the deputy chief administrative officer, the manager of recreation and the city planner. The staff report estimated approximately 40 hours of time will be allocated to the project to draft the work plan.
The program is intended to bring added value to participating regions and to provide resources to communities that show the desire and the ability to work together to identify and address issues in their youth communities.
“The intent of Community Directed Youth Funds is to put resources in the hands of communities so they can enhance local opportunities and meet local youth priorities in their regions,” said Garry Merkel, CBT chair, board of directors.