ELORA – A representative from Portage Ontario is clarifying the facility is staying open despite a news report saying otherwise.
On Monday, it was reported that 26 "youth justice facilities", including the Elora-based facility, were closing.
Ashley-Ann Maginnis, Portage Ontario manager of development, said this was a miscommunication, they do not run a youth justice facility and will remain operational.
Portage Ontario operates a youth addictions treatment centre in Elora for clients from across the province including those referred to the centre by the provincial Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
The ministry announced a series of cutbacks and closures across the youth justice system but Portage Ontario is just getting some funding cutbacks on beds the ministry pays for.
“The government will be announcing that they will not be referring open custody clients to residential care,” Maginnis said. “We didn’t lose all of our funding from them. We’re just having a small reduction of 16 beds that would have been set aside for the Ministry of Children and Youth Services clients to now eight beds.”
She also clarified this is just one source of clients and income. The facility also receives grants, Ministry of Health funding and they do their own fundraising as well.
She said they were shocked to see this in the newspaper and it stirred up a lot of concern from supporters and referrers.
“We’ve tried to reach out to everybody to let them know we’re still operating because it was a miscommunication and it led to people to believe that we were closing,” Maginnis said.
She said they have reached out to clarify this with the families of their clients and are in the process of reaching out to other supporters to confirm they are staying open.
“Portage Ontario has served Ontario for 35 years and looks forward to the next 35,” she said via email.
Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com