WINCHESTER – The director of the Youth Development Center (YDC) in Winchester wants municipal authorities to help ensure that school-aged children in the area can access its recreational and educational facilities.
Elaine Lassiter told city council’s public health and safety committee on Wednesday that she was in the process of creating a type of one-stop-shop program that would be based at the YDC at 3 Battaile Drive and would include a host of services such as the crisis intervention, mentoring, tutoring, referrals for at-risk children, programs that address core values and societal pressures, and recreational activities.
“One thing that is a hindrance for us is transportation,” said Lassiter, referring to the difficulty some of the town’s young people have in getting to the YDC in south Winchester.
She said the city’s public bus service, WinTran, does not go to the center. Its nearest stop is at NW Works at 3085 Shawnee Drive, a 10-minute walk from the YDC.
If children cannot make it to the YDC, Lassiter said, they cannot benefit from its educational, recreational and cultural offerings.
“What I’m asking is that you consider a six-month pilot program,” Lassiter told the committee. “We would find one of the [centrally located] schools here in this area and use it as a place for public transport to pick up children and drop them off at the YDC.
During the pilot program, Lassiter said the YDC would work with schools in the area to try to find one that would be willing to continue transportation service after the six-month period ended.
“I’m trying to get out into the community and market our programs,” she said. “We want to bring the children back to the building. “
Committee members appeared to support Lassiter’s request, but asked him to contact Winchester Public Schools and determine which school would be best for pickups and drop-offs before the panel forwarded their proposal to the full board. municipal.
President Kim Herbstritt also suggested that Lassiter speak with City Manager Dan Hoffman to see if it would be possible to add the YDC to WinTran’s bus lines.
“If he’s going to NW Works, it looks like it wouldn’t take much for him to go to the YDC,” Herbstritt said.
She added that she will speak to other advisors about the possibility of attending an open house at the YDC from noon to 5 p.m. on August 21, an event that Lassiter says is very important in her organization’s quest. to breathe new life into the underused YDC.
President Kim Herbstritt and members Les Veach and Evan Clark attended Wednesday night’s public health and safety committee meeting at Rouss Town Hall.