Launching for its third year, the “Berm Out” program will offer Gananoque youth a safe space to gather on summer afternoons for active and social activities.
The Gananoque Police Service is collaborating with the YMCA of Eastern Ontario, the Town of Gananoque, the United Way, RNJ Youth Services, and the Gananoque Fire Service to provide the drop-in program for teens during the summer at the Gananoque Waterfront – Joel Stone Park, starting Wednesday, Jul. 5, 2023.
“We are focused on addressing gaps in services across our region and are excited about partnering with like-minded agencies to help people in our communities,” said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario.”We are pleased to be working alongside RNJ Youth Services and Gananoque Police Service and to have funding from the United Way and Gananoque Town Council who see the value in supporting local youth.”
According to a press release from Gananoque Police, they see the new program as a positive response to what they have been hearing from youth. Police Chief Scott Gee said, “Through numerous consultations, youth have told us that they want a safe space to gather and that is what this initiative provides. We are pleased that the Town has recognized the voices of our teens and is playing an important role in making this a reality.”
In terms of funding for the program, the United Way is providing $10,000, the Town of Gananoque is providing $15,000, and Gananoque police and fire services are donating the use of the mobile command trailer to use as the drop-in space, according to the release. The YMCA is covering the remaining budget of $5,000 as a demonstration of its strong commitment to supporting teens with opportunities for healthy activities and positive social connections. City Cruises by Hornblower are providing support by providing parking for staff and a financial donation to the program.
The Berm Out will be staffed by youth workers from the YMCA and RNJ Youth Services every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. during July and August.