FORT prepares to re-open doors July 6

A woman sanitizes a chair using wipes and a spray bottle.
FORT Grimsby program developer Liz Bond wipes down a chair as part of the organization’s new sanitation procedures. Marks – Photo

Grimsby’s Foundation of Resources for Teens (FORT) will soon be ready to open its doors to local youth once more.

The youth-support organization will reopen for physical programming on July 6, but things will operate a little differently to conform to provincial health guidelines. Rather than offer it’s usual drop-in programming, the FORT will require that teens register for programming until such a time that the organization is allowed to return to its usual way of operating.

For now, the FORT’s programming will allow one block of eight teens each week. All programs are still free, but teens must sign up ahead to get into one of these blocks, which will grant them access to FORT Monday to Friday 1-8 p.m. during their week.

“We’ve adapted to the crazy world we live in, and we’re excited to open up once again to provide these services to kids,” said FORT executive director Beth Shaw.

While this temporary format will restrict a lot of the FORT’s flexibility, Shaw explained this was necessary to reopen.

“However, we are always open for kids in crisis. We’re here to help any teen who’s facing homelessness, mental health crises or other situations,” she added.

The FORT will also ensure safety by providing masks, sanitizer, and implementing stringent cleaning measures. Social distancing will be enforced as much as possible and program supplies will be sanitized between uses.

Additionally, the FORT facility in Grimsby underwent an entire renovation. Teens will get to experience a renewed and refurbished space for their activities when it opens up.

To take part in the re-opened FORT, youth can register with the program coordinator Liz Bond via phone at 905-309-3678 for Grimsby and Taylor DeGuire at 905-957-1991 for Smithville.

Although the organization’s facilities were closed, the FORT continued offering online events such as zoom calls through out the closure.

However, the pandemic crippled FORT’s fundraising activities.

“We’re hoping that if someone is in the position to donate that they would be willing to help support us,” said Shaw

Individuals can help the FORT to continue to offer its free programing by clicking the ‘donate now’ link found at thefortyouthcentre.com.

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