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YU-Turn Home opens in Lacombe

2015 YU Turn Home Grand Opening
From left to right: Mark Willerth; Lacombe Knights of Columbus representative Jim Maloney; CAYU Housing Director Char Lockhart; CAYU representative Melissa Kipers;, John Diregt; Castle Wolf Creek Building Supplies Ltd. owner John Diregt; Mayor Steve Christie; and CAYU Executive Director Jake Schellenberg.

Lacombe, Alberta (December 10, 2015) - Mayor Steve Christie joined Executive Director of Central Alberta Youth Unlimited (CAYU) Jake Schellenberg, Housing Director of CAYU Char Lockhart, Knights of Columbus representative Jim Maloney, Castle Wolf Creek Building Supplies Ltd. owner John Diregt, Outreach School Social Worker and member of the Housing Steering Committee Laurie Smith, along with special guest donors Mill Vincett and Mark Willerth to celebrate the Grand Opening of the YU-Turn Home.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to Central Alberta Youth Unlimited for the opening of the YU-Turn Home Project. You’ve all been working on this initiative for a long time and I commend you for your tenacity and courage in taking on this type of project and I look forward to its future success,” said Mayor Steve Christie.

“This project is a culmination of over three years of research and development, and it has been an incredible honour to work in and with such a fantastic municipality,” said Char Lockhart. “Working with young people in this City for nearly two decades has placed a spotlight on the need to increase support for many people who have grown up in challenging situations, and we are excited to have another tool at our disposal to see those we work with walk into their full potential and find hope in that process. Through this program, we look forward to helping 16-24 year old young men become holistically healthy, fully independent community contributors. What a privilege we have as a community to come alongside vulnerable community members and affect positive change: not only for one person, but for an entire generation moving forward.”

“This house is a dream come true!”, said Jake Schellenberg. “For over two decades now our youth workers have worked with local youth and it has been our aim to respond to their needs in a holistic way. This house is a response to a need that has been consistently identified, and it bring us great joy to see this vision come together to serve central Alberta youth.”

“Castle Wolf Creek Building Supplies have been a long time supporter of Central Alberta Youth Unlimited, and are proud supporters of the YU-Turn Home. We are excited to see how this program will impact the lives of young people in our city, and consequently, our community as a whole,” said John Deregt. “As a local business, we believe that when we work together with other community organizations, we have the opportunity to truly make our city a better place.”

“This project was supported very well by the community, and many individuals stepped up to ensure this dream became a reality,” said Char Lockhart. “Mill Vincett was just one of these individuals, and we are thankful for her generous gift of $40,000 toward the project."

“Although having no children of his own, my late husband Fred became a ski instructor,” said Mill Vincett. “For over 20 years he taught a multitude of children to downhill ski. I hope he knows that now he has had a hand in helping young men to take a new step uphill."

“The Knights of Columbus were founded on four founding principles, charity, patriotism, unity and fraternity," said Lacombe Knights of Columbus representative Jim Maloney. "One principle in particular, we the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus deem to be very important and that is charity. We have made a conscious effort to give back to our community in a number of ways and every year we give back the proceeds from our major fundraising event Oktoberfest, to community worthy projects especially those involving youth. It was then a natural fit for us then to give over $6000 dollars to the Youth Unlimited housing project from our last two Oktoberfest's. We recognize the efforts that Youth Unlimited invests in Lacombe youth and so we wanted to be a part of this worthy project."

The YU-Turn Home is a skill development home that offers a family setting, along with individualized supports to allow accepted applicants the opportunity to become holistically healthy, fully independent community contributors.

In July 2015, the City of Lacombe’s Affordable Housing Committee granted $80,000 toward the purchase of the YU-Turn home. From August-December 2015, hundreds of volunteer hours were put into home renovations and preparation, along with thousands of dollars in donated building materials for Castle Wolf Creek Building Supply Ltd.

The first participants in this program are expected to move in early in the new year.

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