hi-whitney-pier-youth-club

More than 100 children use the club every day. The group receives government funding for its programs, but no money to pay for the staff needed to run them. So it relies on fundraising. (CBC) (CBC)

The director of the Whitney Pier Youth Club in Cape Breton said he hopes his centre will see more money from the provincial government after the election, but he's not holding his breath.

After years heading the club, Chester Borden said he’s watched candidates stop by for a photo-op and shell out promises, but he said they rarely return with money. He said funding is what's needed to build an addition on the building.

“They come in. They listen to me talk about my issues and my problems, I guess. Get your photo-op, shake your head, nod and make your promises and then we're back in the same boat after the election,” he said.

'Get your photo-op, shake your head, nod and make your promises and then we're back in the same boat after the election.'- Chester Borden

Now, Borden said, the club is losing its teenage members because there is no space for their programs.

“We've been promised a lot here and I would like to see someone come up and finally deliver, to be honest. They consider this club the gold standard, we do great work here. We have a membership of about 275 youth. We see over 100 youth a day and we need space,” said Borden.

The club provides meals and programs for kids in a low income neighbourhood.

Borden said the club is bursting at the seams and he has no dedicated space for activities for teens. There are plans for an addition but money is always a challenge.

“I'm very limited to serving my teenagers,” he said.

“You’re turning away a very vulnerable group that has a lack of services out there for them anyway.”