Our Services

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Youth Drop In Centre
Leaders In Training
Mentorship
Resources for Youth

Youth Drop In Centre

Why Not Youth Centre is vibrant, inclusive, and a little loud. Drop-in hours are seven days a week (5:00-9:00 p.m.) and we are also open Monday-Friday from 3:00-5:00 for (quieter) homework and mental health supports.

With dozens of teens on site at any time, there is a variety of simultaneous activities going on at any time, including karaoke, pool, Just Dance, video games, board games, lounging, arts and crafts, or anything else that the group can come up with!

At various points throughout the year, different initiatives take place, including workshops, activities such as boxing (off site), excursions and even a weekend away at camp. There are also on-site, substance-free celebrations of some sort for almost every event, including group birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and more.

All activities offered through the youth centre are completely free thanks to sponsorships from our community. Activities are supervised by the staff team and a dynamic group of dedicated volunteers who do everything they can to keep the youth centre welcoming, fun, and helpful.

Leaders In Training

Why Not’s programming is guided and shaped by real-time youth needs, especially from our Leaders in Training. The Leaders in Training program is exclusively available to youth who have been a part of the Why Not community for a year or more. They go through an application process before being accepted into the team to be coached in youth leadership and to advise on activities, program efficacy, rules, and direction. The goals of the LIT program are to:

  • Help the LITs to recognize themselves as functional, contributing members of their community
  • Provide LITs with employment and communication skills
  • Create an increasingly welcoming environment to youth from the community by having young people in leadership positions
  • Maintain a group of young people who can represent Why Not at community engagement events, speaking opportunities, and focus groups

Mentorship

Why Not uses a team approach to youth mentorship. Rather than having 1:1 pairings, the volunteer mentorship team works collaboratively to engage all of the youth. They engage the youth in meaningful conversation, providing a listening ear and screen for crisis situations, quickly connecting youth to the Crisis Staff to get them the help that they need. They are behind some of our most engaging activities and are a huge help in running daily programming. Many of our youth mentors are post-secondary students or recent graduates looking to give back to our community and gain experience working with youth. Past youth mentors have moved on to work in corrections, school boards, police forces, and other social service organizations.

To apply to be part of the mentorship team, please visit our Volunteer Opportunities Page.

Resources for Youth

A plethora of entirely free resources are available to youth attending Why Not including:

Physical Resources

: Clothing, shoes, school supplies, access to food pantry…

Practical Resources: Hot supper nightly, Computer & Wi-Fi access, document printing…

Financial awareness coaching: budgeting, income taxes
FUN! Day trips, Recreational activities

PLUS….

Life Skills coaching:

  • Leadership training, and Community volunteer experience (get those volunteer hours!),
  • Employment readiness support: resume writing, interview prep,
  • Cooking and baking activities

Supports to reduce or eliminate barriers:

  • Resource networking (is there another local resource that can help you?)
  • Social navigation support (help getting ID, getting back in school),
  • Education support – tutoring, homework help, free Wi-Fi and computer access

Mental Health supports:

  • Crisis and de-escalation support
  • Workshops on CBT
  • Psychotherapy can be made available
  • All staff trained in suicide prevention and mental health first aid