As it is common in the community sector, the youth house has to find subvention every year. The youth house was unable to get subvention from a great source of financement in the community sector, the organism’s support program of the Quebec’s government.
In 2006, the youth center could not benefit from this program since, it was only one year old at that time, said the two social wokers at the youth house Paola Rückoldt and Benoit Beaudry. They do not know if a grant might be awarded to the youth center in the future.
According to Paola Rückoldt neither the City of Montreal, the provincial or federal government do understand the social reality of Saint-Laurent. "Because the district benefits from an industrial park and many well-paying jobs, donors often forget people from poorer neighborhoods" she says.
The youth house is facing many financial problems partly because of uncertainty about the cost of rent, tell the two social workers. The owners of the building would have increased the cost of their housing cost from $1500 to $1825 since the youth house opened. Social workers fear other increases. They need $15 000 for their operating costs, they said.
Not in my backyard
It is difficult for a youth to move says Mme. Rückoldt. The space they have right now is cheaper than those of comparable size to the same area, she says. But it is mainly the "Not in my backyard" mindset that is causing problems. Youth houses are often wrongly associated with youth crime. As a result, the neighbors often object to their presence near their house, explained the social workers.
Worried, but motivated
The teenagers of young house are very worried about losing that special place, said the social workers. Thirty teenagers and adults who have benefit from the youth house at some point in their lives will organize funding activity to keep the youth house open. At the program: car washes and food packaging in Saint-Laurent’s grocery stores. The youth house’s teenagers will be dancing and collecting funds at <@$p> Chaud show <@$p> at Beaudet Park this July 7 starting at 2.30pm.