The following is one in a series of articles highlighting the work of agencies funded by the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton.
By Alexandra L'Heureux
The YMCA of Sarnia Lambton is well known for its large facility offering programs and physical activities for the community of Sarnia Lambton.
However, the YMCA is also a significant presence in smaller communities within Sarnia. Community Youth Resource Houses are funded and run by the YMCA with support from a hefty financial commitment from the United Way.
United Way is providing $90,000 toward these Resource Houses annually.
There are three houses throughout the Sarnia Community. The YMCA Friendship House is located on Roger Street. The YMCA Our House is at the intersection of Indian Road and Confederation Street, and the YMCA House by the Side of the Road is located on Kathleen Avenue.
Each of these houses is situated so that individuals who participate in these programs are in walking distance or otherwise may easily access the house from their homes and nearby school. All three houses offer services that benefit the children and families that utilize them. Some of the services include the Snack Program, Lunch Program, Breakfast Club Program and After-School Program. These programs ensure that individuals receive nutritional meals if they are otherwise incapable.
Other services available for individuals are computer access and workshops including family workshops, nutrition workshops and physical programs.
Children, adults and families are surrounded with positive information to help them continue to participate in and benefit the entire community. With these services available, parents are assured that children will have nutritional food before and after school and also have the choice to participate in programs encouraging healthy habits in their family and community life including homework help.
Without United Way funding, these houses would not be able to offer the support and services they do to so many families in the Sarnia Community. The physical health of families and the support provided to many individuals would hinder their ability to positively contribute to the Sarnia Lambton community.
Alexandra L’Heureux is a recent university graduate and United Way of Sarnia-Lambton volunteer.