Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, October 26, 2016: Local REALTORS® had the opportunity to experience how much fun youth have on Friday nights in Moose Jaw, if they happen to be between the ages of 14 and 19, hanging out at Joe’s Place. A recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® (ASR) Quality of Life Legacy Fund, Joe’s Place Youth Centre opened their doors to the ASR to show just how the money is being put to good use, making a difference in the lives of youth, and the community as a whole.
Joe’s Place, which encourages a healthy, substance-free lifestyle, provides a high-energy environment for Moose Jaw youth to come hang out with friends to do some regular, every-day - as well as some awe inspiring – activities. From playing billiards and video games to wall climbing and rip-sticking to designing costumes and repairing motorcycles, opportunities abound at Joe’s Place, and there’s something for everyone!
During a tour of the vast facility, including a visit to an impressive wall climbing area, Executive Director, Joe Dueck made note that sometimes what seems like simple fun and games can have a profound effect on an individual: “You get some kids, they’re having a rough day, and they get to the top [of the climbing wall], and everyone cheers. Just like that, they’ve got a win under their belt.”
Funds from the ASR Quality of Life Grant will support Outdoor Adventures, which provides funding for youth to attend camps and retreats, as well as Work Skills Training. The Work Skills program not only provides an opportunity for youth to complete community service requirements and volunteer hours, but has also become a source of income for the organization, and pride for participants, not to mention an opportunity to gain important life skills. Says Dueck, “The youth are building props and costumes for Voltage [a chemical-free New Year’s Eve party for youth]. Or a kid accidentally breaks a stool… we bring it into the workshop and fix it up. It gives them accountability and a feeling like they belong – like what they do here is important.”
Says Bill Madder, CEO of the ASR. “Seeing first-hand all the diverse initiative taking place reaffirms the value Joe’s Place brings to the community. But to see the kids lining-up down the block, waiting for Joe’s Place to open…it’s no wonder the organization is having success! The organization is obviously doing the types of things that youth care about, and that are going to make a difference in their lives. Kind of makes you want to be a kid again, just to take advantage of everything Joe’s Place offers!”
The Quality of Life Legacy initiative awards grants to six community organizations from different regions of the province on an annual basis. The Legacy Grant Program will begin accepting applications once again in January 2017. Any charitable organization in Saskatchewan supporting the Quality of Life’s principles is encouraged to apply.