Saskatchewan REALTORS® had the opportunity to experience how much fun some teens have on Friday nights in Moose Jaw, hanging out at Joe’s Place Youth Centre. A recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Association of Saskatchewan REALTORS® (ASR) Quality of Life Legacy Fund, Joe’s Place Youth Centre opened their doors to the ASR to show just how the money is being put to good use, making a difference in the lives of youth and the community as a whole.
Joe’s Place, which encourages a healthy, substance-free lifestyle, provides a high energy environment for Moose Jaw youth to come hang out with friends to do some regular, and sometime awe inspiring, activities.
From playing billiards and video games, to wall climbing and rip-sticking, to designing costumes and repairing motorcycles, opportunities are abound at Joe’s Place.
During a tour of the vast facility, including a visit to an impressive wall climbing area, Executive Director Joe Dueck made note that sometimes what seems like simple fun and games can have a profound effect on an individual.
“You get some kids, they’re having a rough day, and they get to the top (of the climbing wall) and everyone cheers. Just like that, they’ve got a win under their belt,” Dueck said.
Funds from the ASR Quality of Life Grant will support Outdoor Adventures, which provides funding for youth to attend camps and retreats, as well as Work Skills Training. The Work Skills program not only provides an opportunity for youth to complete community service requirements and volunteer hours, but has become a source of income for the organization, not to mention an opportunity for youth to gain important life skills.
“The youth are building props and costumes for Voltage [a chemical-free New Year’s Eve party for youth]. Or a kid accidentally breaks a stool… we bring it into the workshop and fix it up. It gives them accountability and a feeling like they belong – like what they do here is important,” Dueck said.
“Seeing first-hand all the diverse initiative taking place reaffirms the value Joe’s Place brings to the community,” said Bill Madder, CEO of the ASR. “But to see the kids lining up down the block, waiting for Joe’s Place to open… it’s no wonder the organization is having success! The organization is obviously doing the types of things that youth care about. It kind of makes you want to be a kid again, just to take advantage of everything Joe’s Place offers.”
The Quality of Life Legacy initiative awards grants to six community organizations from different regions of the province on an annual basis. The Legacy Grant Program will begin accepting applications once again in January 2017. More information can be found at saskatchewanrealestate.com. Any charitable organization in Saskatchewan supporting the Quality of Life’s principles is encouraged to apply.