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Foundry Kelowna to take its services on the road this fall

Foundry Mobile will break down barriers for Kelowna youth thanks to a generous donation
On Aug. 21, 2019, the team from Kelowna’s Coast Capital Savings donated $20,000 to the Canadian Mental Health Association to fund Foundry Mobile, which will provide access to mental health and services to youth between 12 and 24. (CMHA Facebook)

Foundry Kelowna’s reach will extend this fall with the introduction of Foundry Mobile.

Coast Capital Savings has helped make the dream a reality for the Kelowna branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) with a $20,000 Community Investment Grant for Youth.

“Because of you, we are eliminating barriers for youth to access services at Foundry Kelowna by bringing services to them,” CMHA said in a Facebook post.

“Coast Capital Savings has a real commitment to the youth element,” CMHA communications manager Jessica Samuels said. “When we talked about the work with Foundry, their ears perked up right away.”

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Foundry Mobile will provide its services to youth between the ages of 12 and 24 in the Kelowna-area communities, including Lake Country and West Kelowna.

The project received initial financial support in December 2017 from the province’s Community Gaming Grant.

Samuels said based on data collected from Foundry, the organization noticed a gap.

“The numbers of youth and families coming in has been large and steady,” Samuels said. “But we’re missing locations.”

In order to close those gaps, CMHA studied other organizations and found putting their services on wheels would be the best way to continue to break down barriers and improve access for its young clientele. What this looks like, Samuels said it’s too soon to tell. CMHA is working with Iridia Medical to develop a concept for the mobile location.

“They will come back to us with a model and we will run it past stakeholders and youth partners,” Samuels said, noting the youth should have an input, as it is a facility for them.

It should be a place where they can feel safe and comfortable, she explained.

Samuels said CMHA is “very excited about it transforming access to its services.”

“It is new territory that we’re embarking on,” she said. “We want to do it right, not just fast.”

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