Teen drop-in centre provides space for downtown Sudbury youth
SPOT is open weekday evenings between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m, and on Saturdays between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
A new teen drop-in centre in Sudbury is providing a place for youth to gather and connect.
Last month, the centre opened on St. George Street and provides a place for teens in the Donovan, Flour Mill and downtown areas.
It’s called The SPOT — The Supporting Potential Overtime with Teens program — and it’s a multi-functional youth hub where teens can gather safely and connect to healthy living, arts and culture.
“There was nothing that was just for teens that addressed their needs on a real level, on stuff that they actually need and want in their lives,” Caceila Trahan, youth outreach worker with the program said.
Teens can gather and socialize, enjoy food, dance and listen to music and it’s free to attend.
So far, Trahan said dozens of youth are using the facility.
“They love The SPOT. I hear that every night. I’ve got one girl who refuses to leave unless we give her a hug goodbye,” Trahan said.
Nikita Jones, 16, said she enjoys going, and added there aren’t many options for young people in her neighbourhood.
“Honestly, I have nothing better to do in life,” she said.
“I’d rather be here than hanging out with my friends on the street.”
The SPOT is supported by Better Beginnings Better Futures and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. It has funding to operate for a year, and organizers are already looking for more options to keep the after-hours teen program running.
Trahan said it’s a model that could be implemented in other communities.
“There isn’t a lot of safe space or alternative choices for youth,” she said.
“It’s kind of … either you’re in recreation that costs a lot of money or you’re not doing a whole lot of anything at all.”
The SPOT is open weekday evenings between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. It is also open on Saturdays between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.