Sign of change for youth services site
After moving from its home of 13 years, the Youth One Stop Shop has a central city location in Palmerston North – and it has an oven.
The youth service group, which was established 18 years ago, has recently moved from Edgeware Rd to the former home of Ray White Real Estate on Princess St.
YOSS director Trissel Mayor said the new location was about a third bigger than the Edgeware Rd site, but size was not the only improvement.
"We've wanted to come closer to town for a while.
"It's quite expensive to be in town, but, in terms of where young people are, it's better access for them."
While having a new location has some perks – the 13-strong paid staff now have an oven to do some baking in – Ms Mayor said the focus was still on bringing useful services to young people.
That has led to a mobile YOSS clinic heading to Levin once a week, which helped get specialist assistance to young people in Horowhenua, she said.
"It's quite hard for rural areas to get access to that kind of help."
Demand for YOSS's services was also on the rise.
In June 1995, 215 young people went to the service for help. Last month, 939 used the service.
Ms Mayor said there had not been a significant rise in the youth population in Palmerston North, but the rising numbers asking for information, advice or help was not a cause for major alarm.
It was good to see young people more comfortable about asking for help. While the problems young people faced when growing up were still largely the same, Ms Mayor said there were differences from when she started at YOSS 16 years ago.
"External influences are different. You've got the internet and media, and pressure to perform at a younger age."
The building would have no formal opening, but an open day has been organised for July 26.
Social Development and Youth Affairs Minister Paula Bennett would attend.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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