Forty-two young people aged 6 to 17 are due to arrive at the new Batshaw Youth and Family Centers in Beaconsfield on May 1.
They arrive at the open-air rehabilitation center at the Dorval facilities, which is scheduled for renovation.
The new facility is comprised of two three-story buildings. The miners will all have private bedrooms, modern living spaces, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, and an art studio. Lots of natural light permeates the facilities.
“Very excited. The high ceilings, the light, the wood – it’s a welcoming environment,” Katherine Moxness, youth program director, CIUSSS West Island, told Global News.
Children and adolescents come from families where there is a history of domestic violence, neglect, or other physical or emotional abuse. Young people are often in distress and need help.
“These are really kids who have had a history of trauma,” Moxness said.
None of the young people transferred from Dorval is a young offender or an individual identified as a threat to the community.
Long-awaited Beaconsfield Batshaw installation takes a step forward
Moxness says locals have nothing to worry about.
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“I would check our statistics at the Dorval campus – how many neighbors have had their homes broken into – and I can report from 2015, I don’t know of any,” she said.
A resident who lives behind the establishment welcomes future new neighbors.
“I really have no problem with that and I hope they are happy there,” Beaconsfield resident Stephanie Hildebrand told Global News.
The Beaconsfield Center is located on Elm Avenue just west of the Beaconsfield train station. Eventually, a third residential wing will be built as well as a school, a gymnasium, a baseball field and possibly an in-ground swimming pool.
The Batshaw project in Beaconsfield still marred by delays (2019)
The center will accommodate more than 80 people. All of this should be ready by 2028.
“We look forward to trying to integrate them into the community with our own activities so that they feel like they are going to be part of our community,” Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle told Global News.
Groundbreaking for the Beaconsfield campus took place in 2013, but bureaucratic issues, budget issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic have all caused significant delays in completing the buildings.
Officials are just hoping they can now stick to the schedule to help some of the West Island’s most vulnerable youth.
West Island Batshaw Youth and Family Center facility will finally see the light of day
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