In 1994, under the umbrella of Montreal Youth Unlimited and backed by the Chateauguay Kahnawake Ministerial who had already been key in various other initiatives such as the Food Bank and the Chaplaincy Program, the search began for a location in which to open the youth centre God was moving to provide for the community of Chateauguay. After much prayer, fundraising and renovations, the doors of Station 7 opened, in September 1996. Word of mouth brought many young people to have fun and be helped in a safe environment. So many issues were seen, experienced and addressed by staff and volunteers as they listened to the teens and were role models to them of appropriate values of integrity. One of the biggest subjects faced almost daily was in the realm of sexuality, and on Father’s Day 2003, Options Crisis Pregnancy Centre was “born”. In the world we are living in, crisis pregnancies are often happening at a younger age and bring with them an array of emotions; from excitement and anticipation to worry and fear. Many people were trained and prepared to offer accurate information and education on all the options, and support with sensitivity and compassion to all those individuals and families affected. Station 7 and Options existed hand in hand, a good marriage to meet the growing needs. As time moved forward, it became evident that many young people were dropping out of school, discouraged and feeling worthless. Some couldn’t read. How could their talents and gifts be used in a different way? What could they make with their hands? In 2004 the Shop was opened with the desire to teach teens to create something beautiful, and as a result to feel good about themselves.
At Station 7 we believe strongly that your past does not need to define your future. And so through our centre and staff we are able to work and walk alongside our youth who have received community hours instead of jail time through the courts. A liaison was developed with Youth Correctional Services, and many teens were able to work off their community service hours through our centre. Each youth we work with is encouraged to stay out of trouble and not to repeat their offence. Today we continue to show each youth we work with that their life matters; through the Thursday and Friday Drop-in. Tuesday Lounge and Lounge or Young Moms programs.
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