Youth shelter may have found a home

A few days ago, Matt LeBlanc learned his family might have to move. Someone from government told his mom they were planning to make his home into an…

A few days ago, Matt LeBlanc learned his family might have to move.

Someone from government told his mom they were planning to make his home into an emergency youth shelter.

“They said it’s going to be a youth shelter, you have to get out,” said the 16-year-old.

LeBlanc, who lives in a duplex owned by Yukon Housing Corp., assumes the building was chosen because the place next door is already empty.

“They have to be out by the end of the month,” said LeBlanc’s friend Hazen Russell.

“It’s pretty quick.”

Yukon Housing has found the family another place one block over, said LeBlanc.

He has mixed feelings about the move.

“I like moving because I get to redecorate,” he said with a grin.

“But we’ve lived here seven years, and I’m mad because all those memories will be gone.”

LeBlanc’s mom and their neighbour already had a meeting with others on the block.

“(The neighbour) is mad because if there’s a youth shelter here it will bring down property values,” said LeBlanc.

The duplex, on Cook and Seventh, is a potential location, Social Services Minister Brad Cathers said on Tuesday.

“It has not been confirmed as even being the confirmed or likely location,” he added.

“In this case, we’re referring to property that’s an asset of Yukon Housing Corporation and I believe they have an existing tenant.

“If it is identified as a likely location, we will take the appropriate steps.

“It would be premature before we concluded that work to make any specific announcements.”

Bluefeather Youth Centre executive director Vicki Durrant has been working with the government on an emergency youth shelter plan for the past three years.

She had not been told about the possible location on Cook Street.

“I was told an alternate location,” she said.

“I gave recommendations for the best location, but all the parties have to agree.”

An emergency youth shelter is way overdue, said Durrant.

She’s hoping something pans out soon.

But Durrant is still waiting for a signed commitment from the government.

Boys and Girls Club program director and Youth Coalition member Dave Blottner also hadn’t heard about the possible location on Cook.

“But that would be great,” he said.

“We just need something.”