Jest Sidloski, Women’s Outreach president, and Dustin Marsh, Allair Homes owner, knock down a wall at the Women’s Outreach’s new chilren and youth healing centre. City councillor Frank Wong also participated in the demolition. (Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate staff)

WATCH: Demolition work starts on expansion of Women’s Outreach services in Red Deer

The Women’s Outreach hopes its newest addition will help more victims of trauma, domestic violence, homelessness or suicide.

As Barb Barber, executive director, put it, women and families facing domestic violence, suicides and homelessness often have children in need of support.

And the new Dragonfly Centre, located just across the parking lot from the Women’s Outreach, aims to do just that.

“It’s a healing centre for children who have experienced domestic violence, homelessness or suicide or have been affected by it in some way and have trauma from that,” said Barber. “The programs and services we’re going to be able to provide in here will be able to reach those kids at that early prevention level.

“Our hope is to give them an opportunity to heal from that trauma and grow, be healthy and successful.”

Located at 5401 43rd St., the centre will feature therapy rooms, a snoezelen room and group rooms. Construction of the building is set to start right away and the hope is to have it open and running by spring 2018.

Barber said programming will start slowly and ramp up as the new building grows into the organization. When it is at its peak, she said it will add about $400,000 to $450,000 in their operating costs.

“We do a lot of our programs for adults and attached to those adults are children,” said Barber. “In any given month, we have about 100 children attached to the parents that come through our doors.”

Construction of the new facility will cost about $400,000, but it is covered by grants and donations.

On Tuesday, the centre and construction partner, Alair Homes, had a demolition ceremony at the future site to begin the major renovation.

The Women’s Outreach offers a few child and youth focused programs including a therapeutic program called Kid Power, as well as play therapy.

“This space is going to give us the opportunity to expand that,” said Barber, adding there are 20 families waiting to access services offered by the group.

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