Pubdate: Sun, 26 Jun 2005
Source: Kelowna Capital News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005, West Partners Publishing Ltd.
Author: Tina Marten
Bookmark: (Youth)


To the editor:

Re.: City's Only Youth Detox Centre Faces Closure, June 17 Capital News.

I am dismayed and outraged that the Iridian Youth Detox Centre is 
slated for closure due to a funding shortage. Kelowna is a wealthy 
city that wants to be moving forward. In my opinion, this city will 
only move forward when it finally allocates some funds for our 
homeless youths. The Iridian Centre gives this city a unique 
opportunity to do just that!

This centre has already built an infrastructure of services. Youths 
know where the centre is, what it is about and most important they 
can refer themselves to learn and deal with their substance misuse 
and leave their life on the streets of Kelowna .

We have all made mistakes in our lives, but with the help of others 
have managed to turn our mistakes into powerful experiences and life 
lessons. A mistake is only a mistake if someone does not learn from 
it. If a mistake helps a person to learn something then it is an 
experience and not a mistake. Those youth participating in the 
Iridian Centre have also made mistakes and it is up to us, the 
community, to help them turn their mistakes into experiences.

These youth are of significance to us, the community. A 'lost' youth 
is a loss of social capital. The economic costs of a homeless youth 
on our streets far outweighs the costs of helping this homeless youth 
get off the streets, develop educational and employment skills, and 
become a contributing community member.

If Kelowna truly wants to be moving forward then we will need all the 
social, cultural and economic capital that this community can muster!

It is my greatest hope that the mayor, city council and other levels 
of government will realize that Kelowna cannot afford to close the 
Iridian Youth Detox Centre. I urge our local governments to allocate 
funds to keep this centre open.

Tina Marten

- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth