Toronto council votes to keep youth outreach workers
Toronto city council has voted 30 to 7 to reverse a decision to get rid of 17 youth outreach workers.
Those positions were cut in the 2012 budget, reducing the city's youth outreach staff from 29 to 12.
But some councillors had called on council to reinstate them after last weekend's shooting at the Eaton Centre.
The vote will be welcomed as good news by teens in some of Toronto's disadvantaged neighbourhoods, who had said on Wednesday that they hoped city council would vote to save the jobs.
Chad Downscoote, 15, says his youth outreach worker has helped him stay on the right track.
He said he's been in some trouble but now spends his time after school playing basketball — something that's not easy to do when there are gangs in the neighbourhood.
"When you grow up in those areas you are influenced to join what everyone else is doing," he said.
Nelson Kaputo, also 15, has had the guidance of youth workers since he was seven years old. He believes they saved him from making some poor choices.
"Negative situations in the sense like, 'Oh let's go to the mall and do something stupid, or like take something, or what not.' For people to say they are trying to get rid of them it will be a horrible mistake," Kaputo said.
The teenage boys from single parent homes say they don't want to lose their positive role models.