May 24, 2019

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Agency's $7.5-M centre better for youth, saves money

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Macdonald Youth Services’ board president Ian Gillies (from left), capital campaign committee chair Brad Wolfe, honorary chairs of the capital campaign committee Stella and Edward Kennedy and CEO Dr. Erma Chapman cut the ribbon to officially open a new 33,000-square-foot therapeutic centre on Mayfair Avenue on Thursday. </p>

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Macdonald Youth Services’ board president Ian Gillies (from left), capital campaign committee chair Brad Wolfe, honorary chairs of the capital campaign committee Stella and Edward Kennedy and CEO Dr. Erma Chapman cut the ribbon to officially open a new 33,000-square-foot therapeutic centre on Mayfair Avenue on Thursday.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/3/2017 (791 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The first piling for the new Macdonald Youth Services building went into the ground 364 days ago.

On Thursday, CEO Dr. Erma Chapman proudly opened the doors of the $7.5-million facility at 175 Mayfair Ave.

“On time and on budget,” Chapman said as dignitaries gathered for the official ribbon-cutting.

MYS provides services to nearly 9,500 children, youths, adults and families. It runs a walk-in youth shelter, full-time foster family care, special counselling, group homes and mobile crisis teams. It also delivers work- and life-skills programs.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 24/3/2017 (791 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The first piling for the new Macdonald Youth Services building went into the ground 364 days ago.

On Thursday, CEO Dr. Erma Chapman proudly opened the doors of the $7.5-million facility at 175 Mayfair Ave.

"On time and on budget," Chapman said as dignitaries gathered for the official ribbon-cutting.

MYS provides services to nearly 9,500 children, youths, adults and families. It runs a walk-in youth shelter, full-time foster family care, special counselling, group homes and mobile crisis teams. It also delivers work- and life-skills programs.

More than 100 staff members who work in aging buildings across the city will be centralized in the facility, saving at least $100,000 a year in lease and operational costs in the organization’s $30-million budget, Chapman said.

"That’s a significant saving for us," she said.

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS</p><p>Macdonald Youth Services held the grand opening for its new 33,000-square-foot therapeutic centre on Mayfair Ave.</p>

JASON HALSTEAD / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Macdonald Youth Services held the grand opening for its new 33,000-square-foot therapeutic centre on Mayfair Ave.

MYS is mostly funded by the province. Additional money comes from private donations, grants and agencies such as the United Way. It was founded in 1929 and originally named Sir Hugh John Macdonald Memorial Hostel after a police magistrate who often suspended youths’ sentences and helped them find jobs. The organization abbreviated its name in 1993.

A fundraising campaign that raised almost $2.9 million from Manitobans, including many of the city’s biggest corporations, covered a significant chunk of the construction cost, none of which was paid for with public money; MYS will carry a mortgage of about $5 million.

Staff members took guests on tours of the 33,000-square-foot complex’s three floors of offices, cubicles and therapy rooms. About two-thirds of clients are indigenous; there are two smudge rooms as well. The facility is equipped with advanced information technology and security.

The colours are deliberately muted: mostly whites and greys with blue highlighting on the third floor, green on the second and orange on the ground.

"They’re colours that are calming," explained Karen McKim, director of client services.

The designer’s first reaction when learning youths would make up the clientele was to assume that called for vibrant colours. Wrong.

"That can be unsettling," McKim said. "A bright red or orange can actually trigger reactions (the clients) don’t understand."

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

Bill Redekop

Bill Redekop
Rural Reporter

Bill Redekop has been covering rural issues since 2001.

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