Calgary

Wood's Homes opens facility in Inglewood to help street kids, vulnerable youth

The children's mental health centre opened its new campus in Inglewood on Thursday, providing addictions services, job skills training and a number of other services in one building.

Mental health clinician says accessible services help remove barriers

Sharlet Allen says Wood's Homes helped her graduate high school. (Mike Symington/CNC)

Wood's Homes has opened a new facility in Calgary that will house a number of services all under one roof.

The children's mental health centre opened a new campus Thursday in Inglewood, providing addictions services, job skills training and a number of other services in one building.

Gio Dolcecore, the organization's mental health clinician, said grouping multiple supports in one place is crucial to creating accessibility and removing barriers.

"Imagine not having the means to buy a bus ticket, or the means of having your own form of transportation and you're carrying a backpack around," Dolcecore said. "Going from one end to the city to see a doctor and then travelling to the other end of the city to see a mental health specialist or counsellor and addictions worker — that's a lot of work. And it gets tiring."

Gio Dolcecore is the mental health clinician at Wood's Homes. (Mike Symington/CBC)

At the Inglewood campus, access to laundry facilities and showers are free.

Last year, Sharlet Allen thought she wouldn't be able to graduate high school, but now she'll be attending SAIT's professional cooking program in the fall, and she said supports from Wood's Homes helped.

Wood's Homes opened its new campus in Inglewood on Thursday. (Mike Symington/CBC)

"I had 32 credits around this time last year, like not anywhere near close to graduating, and now I'm going to graduate with more credits than I need and I got into SAIT," she said.

"They did a lot of things for me and I don't think anyone else would have."

Last year, Wood's Homes street services program helped 35,000 at-risk youth.

With files from Tahirih Foroozan

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