Macdonald Youth Services moves into new building

New Therapeutic Centre will help thousands of Manitoba youth.

Macdonald Youth Services (MYS) officially opened the doors last month to their brand new, state-of-the-art, 33,000-square-foot facility at 175 Mayfair Avenue. The $7.5 million Therapeutic Centre is expected to help more than 9,000 youth per year in Manitoba through life skills training, counselling, and mobile crisis intervention.

MYS was previously working out of four separate buildings throughout many different areas of the city. The move will save MYS approximately $80,000 in operating and maintenance costs. CEO of MYS Dr. Erma Chapman says in addition to the financial benefits, having everything in one building will make helping the people who need their services a lot easier.

“We are so thrilled to have a space that brings all of us together and where our clients will have better access to us no matter what their needs are,” adds Chapman.   “It’s a one-stop shop if they need crisis services, emergency care; clothing, therapists, or any other services, it’s all available under one roof now.”

At the grand opening announcement, MYS announced it had raised over $2.8 million through its year-long capital campaign. All funds raised were through private donations.
“We are grateful for the support and generosity of our donors who have taken the therapeutic centre from a dream to reality,” Chapman says, adding that the project was first dreamt of by staff back in the 1990’s.

The new building has 18 customized therapy and meeting rooms, two smudge rooms, as well as a life skills, money management and computer technology lab. The new facility has three floors, with one-third of the space being devoted to therapeutic programs such as art, music and cultural activities, as well as individual and family counselling.

“Society depends on well-educated, engaged and contributing young people. Our donors know this and we are very excited to open our doors to the youth and families who need our help.”

Established in 1929, MYS helps children, youth, adults and families through six key programs: a walk-in shelter for youth, full-time foster family care, specialized counseling, group homes, mobile crisis teams, and work and life skills programs.

Chapman said about two thirds of MYS clients are Indigenous youth and it was very important throughout the process to recognize this.

“We really wanted to recognize our indigenous clients through ceremonies and blessings, the land we are on as it’s Treaty 1 land, and the water that flows outside of our building, these were very important to us to ensure that every step of this process honoured indigenous cultures.”

By: Bill Burfoot

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