Halifax has a centre to help save troubled youths, it just doesn’t have a permanent place to put it.
After two years, the Halifax Youth Attendance Centre still doesn’t have a full-time home.
Reporters questioned Justice Minister Cecil Clarke about the centre yesterday because of a 15-year-old boy accused of stealing two cars appearing in Halifax youth court today. His parents won’t be with him.
“The police have spoken to the parents and the parents said that they didn’t want him any more, so the police could have him,” said Truro lawyer Andrew Begin, who was formerly representing the youth.
“He’s in custody at the moment, until they figure out what’s happening with him.”
When asked what youth supports are in the system, Clarke first brought up the Halifax Youth Attendance Centre.
The Centre was a main recommendation of the Nunn commission and opened in February of 2007. It provides day school, counselling, life skills, employment training, and probation and bail monitoring. In short, it’s a place to get kids back on the right track.
But the centre’s location has been up in the air for months. It used to be housed at St. Patrick’s-Alexandra on Quinpool Road, but had to be moved when inspectors discovered toxic mold.
Clarke didn’t actually know the temporary location of the centre when asked yesterday. But he said his department is still searching for a permanent location.
“I’ve worked within government to look at potential sites. Maybe a former school that we could make sure has all of the occupational health and safety matters addressed,” he said.
The government had a tender out for a permanent centre to open by June. But that won’t happen now. Government staff said there wasn’t enough money available to make that timeline, but they are still searching for a new location.
– with files from Kristen Lipscombe