Spirit and Coucillor Dave Loken

I had the privilege of attending Healthy Kids Day at the Castledowns YMCA on May 28. I had a blast meeting the energetic and enthusiastic staff, and seeing all the kids that came to the YMCA to participate in Healthy Kids Day. The staff at the YMCA are wonderful people who deeply care about the community. At Healthy Kids Day, I was able to interact with the staff who run the YMCA children’s programs specifically, and they truly do care about the children that come to these programs, and they put a significant amount of effort into having a positive impact on each child’s wellbeing. They invest in each child’s physical health, as well as mental and emotional health. The YMCA does such great work and I wanted to share some of the fantastic work they do in the community.  

One of the great things that the YMCA does is their role in the Melcor YMCA Village, which is part of the Boyle Renaissance Development. This development provides for those in core need of housing. The YMCA operates as a landlord, but offers units at a discounted rate for those that cannot afford market housing. It is part of the Crime Free Multi Housing Program, which requires tenants to sign, as part of their lease, that neither they nor their guests will participate in any illegal activity on or near the premises, and if they do that is grounds for their eviction. The YMCA’s participation in this program helps vulnerable persons in core housing need to have shelter provided so they can build up the other parts of their lives without worrying about where they are going to spend the night.

The Castle Downs YMCA also has a family resource centre, which has different programs that respond to the needs of the community. Some of these programs include: Collective Kitchen, which offers cooking classes for affordable and nutritious meals; Positive Discipline, which is a parenting program; Play Time, which engages healthy child development through play; Homework Help, in which staff help children with their homework; and Family Allies, which assists families who need stable housing and teaches how to identify strategies to address family functioning issues. These are just some of the many different resources the YMCA provides. The YMCA provides significant support to individuals and the community as a whole.

I am grateful I got to spend time with some of the many staff and volunteers for the YMCA at Healthy Kids Day. They do great work, and their contribution to the community is inspiring.