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. 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 in the process increase their sense of self-worth.
At Station 7 we believe strongly that your past does not need to define your future. This vision led to a liaison with Youth Correctional Services, and many teens have been able to work off their community service hours through our centre, serving the community alongside our staff instead of serving jail time. Each youth we work with is encouraged to stay out of trouble and not to repeat their offence.
Today some 20 years since the doors of Station 7 were first opened we are blessed to continue fulfilling our mission: To see the youth of Chateauguay transformed through the love of God and effecting positive change in their world.
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