Eight-bed residence for youths who have been through trauma to open soon in North Bay
NORTH BAY -- It’s been a long time coming, but officials with Children’s Aid Society North Bay and Parry Sound say it’s almost time for Arbour House to begin operating.
The former Near North Youth Centre will see eight youths between the ages of 12 and 18 who have experienced trauma move in this fall.
The individuals will stay for 60 to 90 days and will receive services to help work through the trauma they’ve experienced.
"The youth that we work with have experienced some really traumatic experiences throughout their lives," said Gisele Hebert, executive director of Children’s Aid Society North Bay and Parry Sound.
"We really do want to serve them differently. Our motto is all roads lead home, and I think the focus is returning youth to their home community."
The Arbour House is a pilot project and Hebert told CTV News it’s the only one of its kind in northern Ontario.
"On average over the last five years, we have been uprooting 85 children and youth and placing them out of community," said Hebert.
"Some youth require some residential care and we really want to keep them close to home. They shouldn’t have to leave their families and connections in order to be served."
The provincial government is providing $1.5 million to help get the Arbour House through its first year of operations.
"It’s to really help with a local approach,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli. "The whole idea is to give our local youth this continuity of being able to remain in their home community, close to families."
The young people will have access to a full classroom, a music room and an exercise facility.
"They will be pursuing their education. We have Indigenous cultural activities, we have physical activities, art, we have horseback riding therapy,” said Hebert.
"We want to provide them with as much of a productive environment (as we can) while they’re here."
Sixteen people will be hired to staff The Arbour House, including a clinical supervisor, coordinators and child and youth workers.