The Pathway Project is almost gone, but it won’t be forgotten.
The employment and life skills program, which has focused on at-risk youth in the community, closes its doors soon. A final reunion will be held Monday to celebrate the 49 groups and hundreds of youth that benefitted from the program over the past 13 years.
“We just wanted to have some kind of closure around that,” said Pathway Project co-ordinator Randy Waldie. “For some of the youth (it’s been) a long time. Some have not lived in one place for six months (at a time). The physical building represents, for some, a place that is stable. Saying goodbye to it seemed the appropriate thing to do.”
Changes made this year to government funding for youth employment left Pathway, which operated most recently under the WorkLink community employment centre on Sooke Road, without the money to continue.
Although many of the decorations and photographs that once lined the walls of its Goldstream Avenue office have already been taken down, meeting one last time – amongst friends who share a common bond – was an important part of the process of letting this “piece of the fabric of the community” go, Waldie said.
“We built such a community with the youth over the years (that) we are in pretty regular contact with youth from just about every group. That is going back seven, eight years and even beyond that. One of our traditions with Pathway is work within a circle and we can sit in the circle one last time.”
The free public event takes place at 847 Goldstream Ave., behind Tim Horton’s on July 28 between 4 and 6 p.m.