Steve Morgan knocks down some drywall Saturday as the Women’s Outreach begins to convert a former salon into a centre for children who have experienced trauma. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

Demolition work begins for Dragonfly Children’s Healing Centre in Red Deer

The Women’s Outreach centre is one step closer to helping the community in another way.

On Saturday, volunteers started tearing down a former hair salon across the parking lot from the Outreach to make room for the Dragonfly Children’s Healing Centre.

The centre will offer different type of therapies aimed at helping children, parents and families dealing with trauma from domestic violence, homelessness, and suicide. The hope is to have the facility built by June.

“Our focus is on children who have experienced trauma,” said Barb Barber, Women’s Outreach executive director. “We want to be able to do some preventative work with the kids to help them on their path to healing.

“So when they do become young adults, they have the support and work they’ve needed to be healthy adults.”

Construction of the new facility will cost about $400,000, but much of that is covered by grants and donations. When it is completed, it is estimated to add about $450,000 to the organizations’ operating costs.

“We hope we’ll be well on our way in providing the services that we anticipate will be provided,” said Barber.

Heading up the Saturday demolition was Nate Rempel, owner/partner of Alair Homes.

“To go forwards, you have to go backwards a little bit and demo everything that was from the existing building,” said Rempel.

“We’re salvaging everything we can and donating it to Habitat for Humanity.

Members of the public were invited to volunteer in the demolition. And Rempel said with all the help they received it didn’t take long.

About 20 showed up as the demolition started.

“Honestly I think we had it done in a couple of hours,” said Rempel. “We had some people showing up saying they’ve had a rough week at work. Well here’s a sledgehammer to swing at a wall.”

“Next we get to rebuilding. It’s going to be two stories, with rooms for therapy for all the kids who have been through trauma.”

Barber said they are still looking for sponsors to help with the completion of the renovation.

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