The Carlington Summit
by Janet Jeddore.
Student, Algonquin Child and Youth Worker Program.

Do you feel like all you hear these days are "Cuts, cuts, cuts"? Well read on for some good news for a change!

In December 1994, thirteen parents and workers from the Caldwell area got together to talk about problems that youth in the area were either experiencing, or causing. The group made a long list of issues, and then said, "Okay, what can we do to minimize these problems?"

The answer was "space". "We realized that young people in the area had nowhere to go that was free, and where they were welcomed and encouraged", says Kris Trotter, a Community Developer at Carlington Community and Health Services. "So Ottawa Housing staff encouraged us to apply for a unit that could be used as community youth space."

And now, exactly one year later, the dream has come true. With a 2-bedroom apartment donated by Ottawa Housing, and funding provided by a grant from the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, the Youth Office is open for business.

The Youth Office will be the base for a variety of quiet recreation and social activities for teenagers. Some program ideas on the planning board are: board games, homework help, cooking classes, discussion groups, video nights, babysitting classes, and peer-helper training. We are also open to other ideas. The Youth Office will be staffed by volunteers and students who are supervised by community workers.

The Youth Office is a free service to all teenagers living in the area. Volunteers of all ages and culture are encouraged to get involved; training will be provided. An Open House will be held on January 13th from 3 to 6 p.m. and all Carlington residents are welcome to visit the Youth Office at 1485 Caldwell Avenue, Unit 112.

If you would like more information about the Youth Office, or if you have furniture, games, or kitchen supplies that you could donate, please call Kris Trotter at 722-4000.

Hope to see you on January 13th!