A community program which gave North Central Regina youth an opportunity to work on job sites has been shut down.
The Good Neighbour Services program run by the North Central Community Association was forced to stop its effort because it couldn’t cover costs.
Michael Parker is the executive director of the NCCA.
He says the Association will carry on, despite losing this program, adding it was a disappointment to have had to close Good Neighbour Services.
“So we’ve just put together a community action plan for the neighbourhood,” Parker said. “We can be advocating for what we want to see for our neighbourhood. We engaged over 400 people over the past year. They can be part of moving North Central towards a vision of being a safe community where all people can thrive.”
The Good Neighbour Services program saw youth working on supervised job sites around Regina. They did jobs like snow removal, and building fences and decks.
Parker says the youth also built benches and bird feeders to sell, but the enterprise simply couldn’t sustain itself. He says more money should be invested in Regina’s youth.
“We put a lot of money into health and policing — those are very reactionary,” Parker said. “Emergency rooms, emergency responders. They’re very expensive. If we can just support people getting into employment and being productive in life other than needing these reactionary services.”
Parker says without this program, youth in the Queen City has fewer options.
“There are definitely less options than there were a couple of years ago in terms of youth employment programs,” Parker said. “And it’s especially challenging for youth that have — what we would call — mulitple barriers to entry.”
Parker says there are still some options for Regina youth. He point to the Rainbow Youth Centre which runs a program called Road to Employment.
Youth ages 18-25 spend a year working on getting their GED, driver’s license and finding a job.