Province Gives Selkirk Program For At-Risk Teens $50,000

Manitoba PostNews

SELKIRK – The the Selkirk Team for At-Risk Teens (START) program received $50,000 Monday from the Government of Manitoba.

The (START) program, co-ordinates social service agencies, police and community organizations to prevent crime and support at-risk youth and their families, Minister Heather Stefanson said in a release.

Last year, START worked with 47 clients with an average age of 15. After three years, 93 per cent of youth have had either reduced or no contact with law enforcement.

“START continues to make a measurable difference for young people and their families because the people and agencies involved take the time to identify and address root issues,” said Stefanson. “This collaboration results in benefits for the individual, the family and the community, with improvements related to the youth’s living situation, attendance at school and long-term wellness. Our government is proud to announce an annual funding increase of $50,000 to support this important work, which ends cycles of crime in our communities before they begin.”

The program supports young people aged 11 to 20 and their families who are showing higher-risk behaviours and may already have existing relationships with community agencies or previous involvement with law enforcement.

“It is programs like START that have the potential to change lives, and make our communities healthier and safer,” said Assistant Commissioner Scott Kolody, commanding officer of the RCMP in Manitoba. “With the commitment of the people involved in this program, and with the partnership of the province in funding START, struggling teens get the support they need to lead successful and healthy lives.”

The minister noted this funding is in addition to an $11,000 annual grant to START that has been in place for several years. START has been working in the Selkirk community for 15 years and receives funding and in-kind support from the RCMP, Lord Selkirk School Division, Justice Canada, Interlake Child and Family Services, the City of Selkirk and Rural Municipality of St. Clements.

For more information about START, click here.

PHOTO TWITTER / @Min_Stefanson