Local News

CMHA WW receives $145K OTF grant for new building in Guelph

CMHA Waterloo Wellington is receiving a good chunk of change for its new location.

According to a news release on Wednesday, the Ontario Trillium Foundation is giving the local chapter a $145,000 grant to provide furnishings and equipment for the new Children and Youth Services Building on Woolwich Street.

The new location is in partnership with the Grove Youth Wellness Hubs and is described as a one-stop shop for children and their families.

Helen Fishburn, CEO of CMHA of Waterloo Wellington, said the organization is thrilled to receive the funding.

“It’s a place where kids and youth and their families can come and get support and care and treatment, and enter this beautiful, welcoming warm space that they (Ontario Trillium Foundation) helped us design,” Fishburn said.

Fishburn added the organization is so proud of this partnership with the Grove because it really does represent the full continuum of care.

Some of the money has been used to buy a portable stage, study pods and a pool table, among other items, to create an inviting space.

Get the latest National news.

Sent to your email, every day.

“There’s also youth-friendly furnishings. When you walk into the building, you’ll see how bright, how open, how tailored it is to the needs of young children, adolescents and youth as well,” she said.

“So this grant has helped us create this space and make sure that it’s particularly suited for our kids and youth and their family’s needs, which we are so proud of.”

Mike Schreiner, Guelph MPP and leader of the Green Party, said providing funding to the team will address an important need.

“The work that CMHA Waterloo Wellington undertakes in our local communities to build human connections that make it possible for people to achieve their greatest potential is truly invaluable,” Schreiner said.

Schreiner added that the purchased items will create a welcoming atmosphere for those seeking mental health care.

A sanitizing machine has been purchased to clean toys used for their programs and services as well. This will ensure the health and safety of children and families and help instill confidence in families and caregivers in the organization’s health and safety practices.

The implementation of the services and programs helps create a safe and healthy environment, one of the valuable lessons the organizations learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fishburn said the pandemic really changed the baseline of needs in the community, not only with youth but with adults and seniors as well.

“We have never a greater need relating to anxiety, depression, stress and fear about the future,” she said.

She said their new building will be a beacon of hope for the community. She said individuals can show up to the building and know that staff is there for them.

In a news release, Fishburn said having the two programs under the same roof will create the safety net their kids need to be resilient and build positive bright futures.

She expects the new location to be extremely busy once the doors open.

“You know the old saying, ‘If you build, they will come’ — our youth are coming constantly,” she said.

“They are at our doors; they are asking for that care and support. They’re connecting with other youth, they’re offering support to each other, they’re building a network and then of course they’re connecting to the formal service system, like CMHA services, when they need it.”

The new building is set to open in January 2024.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *