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New location in Scarborough for Back 2 Basickz offers employment to mental health programs for Black youth starting January 30 in partnership with Frontlines

TORONTO, /CNW/ – Back 2 Basickz Youth Support Services is hosting the grand opening of their new location for Black youth in Scarborough on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 from 3:30 – 7:00 pm at 880 Ellesmere Road (3rd floor), in partnership with Frontlines. The event includes youth speakers, site tours, the unveiling of a graffiti mural, and a DJ. Youth, community members, the general public and media are invited to attend.

“It’s amazing to go back to Scarborough and the community that helped me and my son when we were going through very difficult challenges,” says Amanda Coombs, Founder of Back 2 Basickz, a grassroots organization that supports Black youth in Toronto’s Jane & Finch community and beyond. Years ago, Coombs stayed in a women’s shelter and got help from a local church near the new office in Scarborough. “It’s full circle to go back – not as a service user, but as a service provider – to make a difference to youth.”

In partnership with Frontlines, a local charity with a mission to address the pressing needs of some of the GTA’s most vulnerable children and youth, Back 2 Basickz will receive approximately $1M over five years to launch their B-YOU project (Black Youth Outreach United Project). The B-YOU project will provide culturally appropriate programs for Scarborough’s Black youth ages 12 to 21, who are in school and non-students who have been involved or at risk of getting involved in the justice system. Programs will focus on:

  • Employment – from job shadowing to entrepreneur workshops to referrals
  • Education – from free tutoring to post-secondary guidance to volunteering
  • Mental Health – from emergency crisis intervention to counselling
  • Positive peer relationships – from one-to-one interactions to group engagements

Stachen Frederick, Executive director of Frontlines Toronto, will also become a mentor to Coombs and her team as Back 2 Basickz expands its reach. “Grassroots organizations are the glue of our communities. As someone who founded a grassroots organization many years ago, I could only dream of having an organization such as Frontlines provide funding and support for work that I love doing. This funding will have great impact for generations to come.”

Funding for this program is provided by the Crime Prevention Action Fund through Public Safety of Canada. Three other organizations are also fund recipients for this project: Helping Hands, Challenge the Outcome Youth Services and Student Leadership Youth Empowerment. Further program launches will happen in February and March 2024.

SOURCE Weston Frontlines Centre

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