So some of you have likely heard that by now, over ½ the money has been raised to save the Burrows Resource Centre, and official from the province and the city are committed to working with the volunteer board, headed by the fearless Irene, in creating a workable solution.
It is interesting to me that this is happening for several reasons. Burrows Resource Centre, once upon a time used to be called Boyd Park, and was a satellite building for the Sinclair Park Community Centre located at 490 Sinclair (who, by the way just had their grand re-opening yesterday, congrats). Now, once it was decided that it cost more money than made sense to the individuals at the time, Sinclair Park CC let go of the site at Boyd Park, and only operate 1 satellite office now, instead of 2. So I find it odd how as one building is celebrating a new renovation and a grand re-opening, its ex satellite office is being forced to close its doors.
In speaking with folks in both sites, Burrows and Sinclair, it seems like they have an element of agreement. Many of the youth that live around Burrows Resource Centre are not comfortable making the trek all the way to Arlington & Church to play at the Sinclair Park CC. The Burrows Resource Centre serves an area from Arlington to McPhillips, and Selkirk to Mountain. Many young people live in that area and it has been reported in the media that over 200 youth have utilized the building in that time.
What is with this division?
It may seem odd to those that do not live in the North End that youth would not be willing to attend services in a community seemingly ‘a few blocks away’. But I know personally, and continue to observe the phenomenon among youth today, that there are invisible barriers when you are a young person. These are not necessarily gang lines, although they can be, but they are often territories where ‘outsiders’ are made to not feel welcome. And so I believe it is important for groups such as Sinclair Park and the Burrows Resource Centre to continue to work together to provide opportunities for many of the young people that live between their 2 sites.
Not About Money
One last important point I'd like to make is, although the media blitz is having some financial successes with Winnipeggers stepping forward and donating their money to keep the building open, that’s awesome. Also, political pressures seem also to be having quite a nice effect with even the premier Greg Selinger commenting on the case. However, that does not excuse our role as residents of this community to let such a situation happen again. If you are a resident of the North End, living between Selkirk & Mountain & Arlington & McPhillips, I challenge you to become a volunteer with the Resource Centre. I challenge you to become a volunteer because even if we do not have money in our pockets to help, we do have our hands, and we do have our time. So join myself and other members of AYO Aboriginal YouthOpportunities in volunteering one day a week at Burrows so there can be more consistent hours, and more regular opportunities for the young people in that area to have a safe place to be.
Join the young leaders in our North End Community and volunteer.
Meet Us @ The Bell Tower this Friday to hear a speaker from Burrows, and also bring any donations of equipment, money or time with you. You can also donate here at their PayPal.
Love, Courage & Respect