Hope Mission considers a north end youth centre in Red Deer

Wait list for free after-school program

Hope Mission sees a need for a youth centre in Red Deer’s north end to help children from low-income families.

Kelly Row, Red Deer Hope for Mission manager, said about 150 kids are on a wait list to attend the mission’s free after-school programs running at four schools.

The Kids in Action program is full with 170 elementary school students, and Youth in Action has 80 middle school students.

“We weren’t expecting this kind of response,” said Row about the programs that were started last year.

Hope Mission, a not-for-profit Christian social care agency, has a youth centre in Edmonton that’s open six days a week.

He said discussions with Unity Baptist Church have begun to look at working together and using some of the church’s land on Northey to build a youth centre.

“We’re in the beginning stages, just talking. They’ve got a piece of land. It’s in an ideal location and we believe it’s a good enough size we could put something substantial there.”

He said the location is around the corner from Normandeau School and not far from Aspen Heights Elementary School and Glendale Sciences and Technology School. Hope Mission also runs programs at G.H. Dawe School.

Construction of the city’s $8.8-million North Red Deer Community Centre is scheduled to begin in the spring and will include an indoor playground and multi-purpose spaces.

But Row said families can’t necessarily afford to access city facilities. Recently some Hope Mission staff were at G. H. Dawe Community Centre playing basketball and invited some kids they knew to join in, but the kids said they didn’t have the money to play.

He said while Hope Mission can access school gymnasiums for free, but schools also run sports programs.

“Having a youth centre would make it easy. If we have kids on a wait list we could invite them there and work with them in our own building.”

While the economy has definitely impacted people, there are a number of kids and families in north Red Deer who will always need support, Row said.

He said the public’s reaction will determine the future of the project.

“The driving force will be the fundraising, if there are people that see this as a major need and jump on board and want to help us put this together quicker rather than slower.”

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Construction underway at Medicine River Wildlife Centre in Red Deer

The new building is twice the size of the old one

Fish for free

No license is required to ice fish on Family Day weekend

Music industry struggles to shake ugly legacy of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

TORONTO — Allegations of sexual misconduct swirling around pop-rockers Hedley have put… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer rings in the Chinese New Year

A couple hundred fill Festival Holiday to ring in the Year of the Dog

WATCH: From humble beginnings Red Deer-based wrestling promotion is growing

It wasn’t that long ago that Dylon Featherstone and the Canadian Wrestling… Continue reading

WATCH Replay Red Deer Feb. 18: Your weekly news highlights

Watch news from Red Deer and Central Alberta

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Life or death main decision for school shooting suspect

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The evidence against the Florida school shooting suspect… Continue reading

Man who stole millions from Seabird Island band sentenced to 4.5 years jail

Stephen MacKinnon sentenced in Chilliwack court for stealing $2.3 million over eight years

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

WATCH: Polar dippers brave icy water to raise money for Sylvan Lake charities

The water may have been cold, but the amount of money raised… Continue reading

WATCH: Cat yoga — the purr-fect de-stresser, says Red Deer-area cafe owner

Felines and humans stretch together each month at Alley Cat Cafe

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month