The organization that’s offered programs for Hamilton children living in low-income settings for 30 years is just days away from unveiling a new outdoor space in the city centre.
Phase one of a three to five-year major revitalization project at CityKidz on Burlington Street East will now give the non-profit outdoor spaces for youth to play and take part in programs outside.
Associate Executive Director Laura Carmichael said the entity had been looking at taking some programs outdoors for years on its 1.5 to two-acre space.
She says the onset of the COVID pandemic in 2020 expedited that plan. Phase one of the development will be unveiled on Tuesday, Aug. 16.
“So in phase one, it’s been creating a space in our front area that’s going to be … a fenced-in space with a wide lawn that the kids can be in safely,” said Carmichael.
“Where we can have a lot of opportunity to do small group games or do large group games with the kids moving forward into future phases.”
To date, CityKidz helps close to 1,200 children from over 600 families in Hamilton from the time that they’re three until about 17 years old.
The outlet generally offers stability and support to ultimately achieve their dream of breaking the cycle of poverty, one child at a time.
Carmichael says the “biggest” challenge the pandemic has brought to the organization is the recruitment of volunteers, which saw numbers drop largely due to provincial gathering restrictions.
She says the decline within the organization has been around 50 per cent.
“There’s many times we haven’t been able to have volunteers, of course, but as we’ve been rebuilding our programs, we have a huge need for volunteers,” Carmichael said.
“We are grateful for the amazing team that we have, but if anyone wanted to join our team, we would welcome them.”
Typical volunteer opportunities include delivery staff, bus drivers, food prep workers and youth mentors.
Anyone interested can reach out to CityKidz online.
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