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Youth center: obstacles and solutions

By Staff | Mar 23, 2020

At last Monday’s city council meeting, Estherville mayor Joseph May shared for obstacles the youth center task force has identified as it works to move forward with an idea for a youth center in Estherville. The obstacles are:

1. Funding

2. Worker burnout

3. Finding a building that has the right space and is up to code

4. Fostering the right fit for youth/adult relationships to keep youth engaged

Mayor May said the task force is working on possible solutions to the issues, which include applying for grants to meet the funding requirements.

“We don’t want to put pressure on the city or taxpayers,” Mayor May said.

The task force is also exploring the question of whether to use volunteers or hire workers, and meeting the legal and training requirements for adults to work successfully with youth.

Finding a building is a longer-term goal, Mayor May said.

“We can start now with programming. The idea is to have professionals and experts from the community give master classes in various skills. We can build the program and take it to a new building,” Mayor May said.

The task force hopes to present their proposal to the city council at its April 20 meeting.

“Whatever we do, we will do it with excellence, because we want this to be a program that’s here to stay, not just here for a year,” Mayor May said.

Mayor May also issued a letter to Estherville residents:

“Change can be difficult at best; it does not matter whether that change is temporary or permanent; it is hard nonetheless. I know right now COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind, and I know right now the safety of our community is your top concern. I just want to reassure you that as a city we are taking all the necessarily measures to ensure your safety and health. Though it may inconvenience you at the moment, please be patient with the process as we all work through this temporary change.

What I would encourage you to do is spend time with your family reconnecting, resting and recharging. Call and check on family and friends you have not spoken to in a while, let them know how much you care for them. Practice good hand hygiene and use wisdom if and when you have to interact with others. Spare what you can with those in need and refrain from hoarding. Order a meal for carry-out or deliver to help support our local restaurants who are feeling the strain of the social distancing. Stay calm, be prayerful, and never give up hope. Estherville, let us show the world what unity looks like! Stay encouraged, Estherville, we can do this!”