Youth advocacy centre could rise at Sixth and Columbia

The corner of Sixth Avenue and Columbia Street downtown is being eyed for the city’s first youth advocacy centre.

On Tuesday, Kamloops council was asked by representatives of the Big Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre for support in pursuing that location with the province.

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“What we’re looking for today is a deeper level of partnership, discussing the need for Big Bear to be on that property,” said Tara Ettinger, president and co-ordinator of Big Bear Child and Youth Advocacy Centre,

The idea for the centre — currently in the fundraising stage — is to bring multiple agencies that investigate child abuse under one roof to create a more collaborative approach.

The project also involves Kamloops RCMP, the Ministry of Child and Family Services, Interior Health, Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family, the Department of Justice Canada, the province’s community safety and crime prevention branch, the city and Thompson Rivers University.

Council unanimously supported reviewing the proposed location. Mayor Ken Christian and Coun. Dieter Duty were absent for personal reasons.

The city’s community services committee will review the request at a later date.

City plans for the downtown, meanwhile, identify the provincially owned site on that corner as a location with redevelopment potential.

Plans suggest repurposing the building to include a cafe, bakery, small grocer or other shops to “help animate this section of Columbia Street and provide key amenities for local residents.”

City plans also envision creating a walkable, pedestrian-friendly environment in that area, mixing low- to medium-density family housing with commercial amenities.

© Kamloops This Week


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