Youth Wellness Hub for Windsor-Essex gets a boost

Windsor-Essex Youth Health Centre’s permanent home is closer thanks to a donation from a local foundation.

A fundraiser to create the permanent center began Tuesday with a $1 million lead gift from the Solcz Family Foundation.

“The Solcz Family Foundation is proud to support Windsor’s first Youth Wellness Centre, a safe, accessible space that offers a variety of young people in our local area in a warm and welcoming space designed for young people service,” the foundation’s Krysten Solcz said in a media release. “We want our community to join us in supporting this wonderful cause and helping to provide the right services to our young people at the right time and in the right place.”

The fundraiser’s goal is $5 million.

The Windsor-Essex Youth Health Centre is currently located at the Maryville campus in Windsor. The new home will be 10,000 square feet at 215 Eugenie Avenue. It will provide mental health and addiction services to young people aged 12 to 25 without referral.

Youth Health Centre is a collection of 14 sites in Ontario. Maintaining a permanent centre in Windsor-Essex will require support from donors and community partners, according to Kim Willis of the Canadian Mental Health Association Windsor-Essex.

“We are so grateful for the great support and generosity of the Solcz family. The Youth Wellness Center is a game changer in our community and something youth and families have wanted for years,” Willis said.

Other community partners include Maryvale, Windsor Essex Community Health Center, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, New Beginnings, The Inn of Windsor and United Way.

Nearly $2 million has been raised towards the $5 million goal through initiatives such as the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign, the 2021 Corporate Challenge, the Jackson Ogland Memorial Golf Tournament and other fundraisers.

Since the temporary centre opened in Maryvale in March, more than 300 young people have visited, making more than 1,000 visits. By the end of this year, Ontario will open a total of 22 centres, with operations funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Complete information about the Ontario Youth Health Centre can be found on its official website.

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