New Drop-In Center will be open to teens and young adults
The Board of Directors at Spectrum Youth and Family Services have approved a plan to open a Drop-In Center for teens and young adults in downtown St. Albans in the coming months. The Center will be open weekdays from 10am – 6pm, offering free lunch and dinner, showers, laundry, mentoring, coaching, and activities to youth ages 14-22. A location is to be determined.
“We know from our decades of work in Burlington that with sustained support, youth who are struggling can get their lives on track.” said Mark Redmond, Executive Director at Spectrum. “We are very pleased to be able to extend our services to St. Albans. Our goal is to provide a safe space where young people find that support while also being connected to other services in the community, such as tutoring from Vermont Adult Learning and case management from Northwest Counseling and Support Services.”
Spectrum is opening the Drop-In Center at the urging of St. Albans community leaders and its own staff who have had a presence in the county serving youth in state custody in St. Albans. Without a youth center or similar programs in the community, there is a need for a safe, warm and consistent physical place where youth can go to receive a hot meal, help with homework, assistance finding a job, and a friendly ear.
“It is such great news to hear that Spectrum will be opening up a drop-in center here in St. Albans!” said Dr. Kevin Dirth, superintendent of Maple Run Unified School District. “This has been a long time coming. I look forward to Maple Run’s collaboration with them to expand the support of our children in this community.”
Spectrum has worked with multiple community partners to realize this vision including: the City of St. Albans, Northwest Counseling and Support Services, Northwestern Medical Center, Samaritan House, Martha’s Kitchen, Ben and Jerry’s, Mylan Technologies, Mill River Brewery, and Groennfell Meadery.
The Spectrum Board of Directors made a multi-year commitment to maintain the Drop-In Center, with future years dependent on need and funding. Seed funding for the first year of operation was provided by two anonymous donors, Mylan Technologies, Mike Lane and Cat Carvelli, and many individual donations. Spectrum will hold a Sleep Out in St. Albans to support the program, and donations are also being accepted at https://donate.spectrumvt.org/stalbans.