Local youth society reaching out for help, after flood destroyed their ‘safe space for teens’

Kiera Lyons, CTV Edmonton

Published Saturday, January 13, 2018 8:44PM MST

Last Updated Saturday, January 13, 2018 8:46PM MST

A local charity that helps at-risk youth in the city has been forced to temporarily shut its doors.

The iHuman Youth Society’s downtown facility suffered substantial damage after a pipe burst, flooding their building.

The society works with marginalized inner city youth –including teen moms.

They were closed for the holidays, but because of the flooding they haven’t been able to help anyone for weeks.

The damage was significant enough that the charity has to close most of their caring services for three months, particularly their food services.

The flooding spilled into their kitchen destroying most of their items.  They also had to shrink their space three times, which was detrimental in their ability to provide their services.

“We lost our offices related to our mental health programming and much of our social work, “said Christopher Weiss of the iHuman youth society. “The pipes burst directly over top of several staff member’s desks, directly on top of computers and valuable equipment”

Weiss told CTV News that following insurance, they are looking at costs of over $20,000, much of which is food related.

The charity provides essential services for youth in need while also offering a safe space for teens.

“The biggest headache is being closed,” Said Weiss.  “The reason why people work at iHuman is they want to support youth in need and we’ve lost that space.  It’s really hard on our staff members to come in and not see the youth every day.”

The charity has taken to social media—asking for cash donations and grocery store gift cards.  The youth society is hoping people will donate towards their cause as they continue to deal with the fallout of the flood.

“What we really need from the public right now are financial donations and grocery gift cards,” Weiss told CTV News. “This is a great time to donate gift cards, particularly given the callout from certain retail outlets, where gift cards are available for free.”

iHuman will distribute the donations to youth in need, in particular young mothers.  

They are expecting to be open in the next couple of weeks, ideally the end of January.  If you would like to donate you can head to the iHuman homepage for details.

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