Barrie, ON – The Barrie Colts Foundation has made a donation to the new Shak’s World Community Center. Shak’s World officially opened their doors in Barrie on November 1st, 2020.
Shak’s World is the brainchild of Shanicka Edwards (Shak) and is a youth-led urban community centre helping tackle the underlying issues leading to addiction, homelessness and mental health problems. It’s a community centre that offers everything from a meeting place in the lounge to facilities and activities such as basketball, yoga, art and more. Shak’s World is located right next door to Georgian College.
A $3,000 cheque was presented to Shanicka Edwards by the Barrie Colts Foundation. Barrie Colts owner Howie Campbell, Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard and Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte MP Doug Shipley were on hand for the presentation.
“We opened on Nov. 1 to the public and we plan to start offering our different programming from arts to sports to just regular mentorship,” said Edwards. “This is a youth drop-in centre, so we’re happy to see youth who are looking for a safe, friendly place to hang out.”
Due to COVID restrictions, everything will be happening in small groups, which is safe in the 12,588-square-foot space. There will also be Zoom meetings for those who can’t make it out to the building.
Located at 59A Maple Ave., site of the former Barrie Youth Centre, Shak’s World includes a gym, office space, several multi-purpose areas and a kitchen area.
Shak’s World relies on the help of partners and their collaboration with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Empower Simcoe, Family Connections and New Path. Should anyone need support and guidance from a professional, Shak’s World has councillors as well as child and youth care workers on site. CMHA is already a large part of our community and combined with this unique centre they offer a perfect place to feel safe and at home. They believe that every youth needs a purpose and they have an open door and and open heart to help our youth realize it.
“John (Brassard) said this was a cause we had to get behind and that’s how it started for me and the Colts family,” said Howie Campbell, President of the Barrie Colts. “I have to admit, since I’ve been here and met Shak herself, I’m really impressed with what she is trying to do here. The community needs more people like her in it and what she is trying to do for youth and mental health is just fantastic. We can’t wait to get some of the Colts players in here to help in any way they can, maybe talk to the youth here, mentor them,” said Campbell. For more information on Shak’s World, head to the site here.
Photo courtesy of Barrie 360