Foundry EK purchases land for new care centre
Young people in the East Kootenay now know where they can go to seek support for their health and wellness needs as Foundry East Kootenay announces the purchase of land for its new facility a few blocks from Cranbrook’s downtown.
Foundry East Kootenay, operated by Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society, has purchased the vacant property at 100/106 12th Avenue South, at the corner of Louis Street, to be the future site of the youth wellness centre. Construction will begin this summer, with the facility set to open early 2022.
After considering several locations in Cranbrook, the 12th Avenue lot was chosen for its proximity to Mount Baker Secondary and Laurie Middle School and the opportunity to construct a new building design tailored to the needs identified by local youth and families.
“We are excited to be building the Foundry East Kootenay at this location,” said Colin Sinclair, chief administrative officer of Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society. “It checks off all the requirements we were looking for with close proximity to the schools, downtown and green spaces. Most importantly, it was the number one choice of our youth out of all the locations we considered.”
The forthcoming facility will feature examination rooms, counselling spaces, a kitchen, and the opportunity for a green space. There will be health care and counselling staff on-site to provide free, confidential services without having to make an appointment ahead of time.
Foundry East Kootenay is part of a network of Foundry facilities throughout the province of British Columbia that provide health and wellness resources, services and supports for young people ages 12 to 24 and their families. The five core services offered are physical health, mental health, substance use support, social services and peer support.
Cranbrook was one of eight communities announced last June to receive its own Foundry facility, with Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child and Family Services Society as the lead agency. Foundry East Kootenay will be located in Cranbrook with services available to all youth across the East Kootenay region.
Foundry East Kootenay has already raised $685,000 through the “Not Alone” fundraiser hosted by the East Kootenay Foundation for Health.
Efforts are ongoing to raise the $1.4 million necessary to open and operate the facility. Notable fundraising events have included Cranbrook Burger Month, which raised $55,540 at 10 participating restaurants in the city, and an online auction organized by Foundry East Kootenay’s Youth Advisory Committee which received more than $14,000 in bids between May 8 and 19.
“The purchase of land is a huge boost in making this all a reality. Foundry East Kootenay is an urgent need in the East Kootenay,” said Brenna Baker, executive director, East Kootenay Foundation for Health. “We are overwhelmed by the community support we have received throughout our region. We are excited to keep the momentum going on fundraising as we hope to reach our goal quickly so the youth and their families have help when they need it.”
With preparations for construction of the facility underway, Ktunaxa Kinbasket Child & Family Services Society is seeking input from youth and their families through a survey to shape the design and services on offer. Those living in the East Kootenay region can complete the survey at www.kkcfss.org/survey to be entered in a draw to win a gift prize valued at $500.
In the lead up to the physical facility opening, youth can access support from Foundry through its virtual services available at www.foundrybc.ca/virtual
For more information on Foundry East Kootenay go to www.foundrybc.ca/eastkootenay and to donate go to www.ekfh.ca/foundry-east-kootenay.