There are hopes that a nearly-finished special training centre aimed at troubled youth will help them either avoid or transition from a life of crime.
Ottawa’s Youth Services Bureau, its foundation and the provincial Ministry of Child and Youth Services have partnered up on the centre at the intersection of Walkley Road and Hawthorne Avenue.
Earlier this week, Ottawa police chief Charles Bordeleau mentioned the centre as one of the ways the community is attempting to crack down on gang violence.
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"The Youth Services Bureau is building a Trades Centre to offer training, employment possibilities and hope to youth involved with the law who are currently making money illegally but need new, realistic sources of income," he wrote in an open letter.
People involved in its construction said the space is designed to help train 300 young people a year, some who have spent time in youth detention, on how to prepare for jobs and apprenticeship programs.
"It's moved very, very quickly with a lot of support and resources being put into it to support youth at risk," said Gord Boyd, director of youth justice services at the bureau.
"That includes young people that may be involved with gang related issues."
Boyd said he hopes mentors from local industries will be able to work with training centre staff.
Construction at the new building is on track to finish Jan. 21.