A Safe Space for Youth in Rosetown

After having two other temporary spaces, the Rosetown Youth Drop-In Centre finally has a home in the Rosetown Youth Building (RYB). It seems that the RYB has become more than a building but a safe and friendly place for youth in the community.

Bob White, Rosetown VolunteerThe Rosetown Youth Drop-in Centre is a bustle of activity on Friday evenings from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. averaging forty
participants each night. Children and youth, ranging between the ages of 10 and 16, have a number of options in the facility which include, but are not limited to, board and card games, fooseball, a workout station, PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, pool table and an arts and crafts corner. The Youth Drop-In Centre is operated on a drop-in basis and has had some support from the Ministry of Social Services in terms of youth client participation. Youth have the opportunity to interact, mentor and - most importantly - have fun. With few rules, there is zero tolerance in regards to bullying and the youth are encouraged to respect the facility, volunteers and each other. 

Bob White, Rosetown Youth Drop-In Centre and Rosetown Youth Building (RYB) volunteer, shared that representatives from the local RCMP detachment have been invited to stop by the facility and get to know the youth. On one such visit a member indicated, “This place is noisy, but it is a good noise.” In addition to the Youth Drop-In Centre, the RYB facility is
available for private rentals in the community (i.e. meetings and birthday parties) for a minimal fee. The West Central Crisis & Family Support Centre, whose head office is located in Kindersley, use the facility four times per month.

If a community wants a safe place for youth, Bob shared some tips for the community to consider:
■ See what the youth want
■ Have them involved in the discussion and planning
■ Let them decide – don’t tell them
■ Recognize that the youth have a lot of good ideas

Bob commented that the “Community support has been unbelievable - the community was behind the project 110%.” This
support has come in the form of donations (money, programming supplies), resources (fundraising ideas) and services in
kind for the actual facility build. In addition there was collaboration with the Town of Rosetown on the build so that the facility would act as public washrooms for the local sports grounds and replace the existing washroom building on the site.

Parents and youth have been asking for the Youth Drop-In Centre to be open more nights per week; however the Committee needs more volunteers to make this happen. In terms of volunteer recruitment, Bob said with a hearty laugh, “It helps if you are hard of hearing!”

Kerry Bailey, Field Consultant

– based on interview with Bob White, volunteer on April 4/2017

This article was previously published in the Summer 2017 issue of DIRECTION magazine. Read it for free online and find more articles on how recreation is making life better for people of all ages in your community.