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Funding Crisis


5th on 5th Youth Services Announces the Closure of 3 Programs on June 30, 2015

Thanks to the generous support of our donors and corporate sponsors, we raised enough money this year to keep our programs operating until June 30, 2015. Even in the face of significant cuts, our Youth Employment Center was busy building resiliency and self-sufficiency into young people’s lives. Over the past 9 months we had 14,424 visits and printed 10,768 resumes. These are young people who have fallen through the cracks or have no other place to go for support. We value the opportunity to be the contact point for youth in our community.

Our negotiation process with the Government of Alberta for a Youth Employment Strategy was stopped mid-stream by the early election, before we were able to secure future funding.  This means we will have to cut back and only offer our federally funded programs starting July, 2015. Lethbridge and surrounding communities will lose services that our young adults have relied upon for 20 years. As well, another 4 dedicated staff members will lose their jobs in addition to nearly 10 who have been cut in the past 5 years. The Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to keep 5th on 5th open in a different capacity rather than close entirely. Many have asked if the recent election will have an impact on our organization. In the short-term, we have simply run out of time. Looking to the long-term, we are hopeful for a renewed investment in the next generation of Alberta workers.

“We are in this for the long haul, and we are changing the way 5th on 5th operates to better reflect the available funding, now and in the future.” Said Board President, Jeff Meadows. “We will remain open with different services and in different capacities, while remaining true to our mission.”

Meadows said that the organization is looking at strategically sharing space with other agencies in their building so that the location remains a hub and safe place for young people to come and get help. Agencies interested in co-locating in the 5th on 5th Youth Services building should call (403) 329-3555.

They are actively looking for new projects that service their client base which are funded and which will, in turn, help the people we have always helped.

Lethbridge Youth Foundation owns the building with tenants who will have business as usual: Reeves College, and some programs for McMan Youth Family and Community Services and Rehabilitation Society of Southwestern Alberta. They will remain unaffected by the changes to 5th on 5th programming.

Mr. Meadows goes on to say, “these changes are based purely on a lack of funding. This is not what we want to do; it is what we have been forced to do despite significant community need as employment supports impact poverty reduction. It is our organization’s best opportunity to move forward and continue advocating for the needs of 15 to 30 year old workers in southern Alberta.

We are asking the public to communicate the importance of programming that helps our teens and young adults connect to the workforce to their government representatives.

We are encouraging our clients to come in and see us before the end of June. Come and celebrate your success with us or come so we can equip you with the tools you need to be successful. Either way, come and get a copy of your resume as we will not be able to store it much longer.

As board members, staff, and volunteers we are very sad to see the end of these programs, but we are proud of what our clients have been able to accomplish with our help! We are hopeful that youth employment and career development will receive more investment in the future.”

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A Taste of Lethbridge

ringing People Together on April 9, 2016 @ Exhibition Park

  • Click here for a list of participating restaurants
  • Click here for the silent auction items
  • Click here to be taken to the donor page
  • For invitations to the gala, simply click on DONATE below and provide a gift of $125 or more
    For other payment options, scroll down for details.


The Lethbridge Youth Foundation and 5th on 5th Youth Services have been in the forefront of people’s minds a lot the past couple years as they have advocated to the Provincial Government for stable youth employment funding.

“The 2016 Campaign theme, ’Bringing People Together,’ reflects the new way 5th on 5th Youth Services is doing business with new partners and new programs at our location,” said Executive Director Gail McKenzie. “This year’s campaign goal is $30,000, which we will use to match other funding opportunities we have identified.”

“The organization is now on a solid path to recovery after the loss of some programming over the past two years,” McKenzie said. “However, with new partners, and a new business focus, we continue to offer important programs in the community. We also continue to advocate for a Youth Employment Strategy with the Provincial Government. The recent announcement of the return of the STEP program is a good first ‘step’ in a new direction.”

As well, McKenzie said services that are continuing are making a big impact on the community. “Our Forward Life Impact program has prepared more than 60 young adults for the work world over the past 6 months. The Reach Up program is assisting 40 individuals with disabilities focus on their strengths and how they can contribute to the local workforce. Finally, the Work Experience program places approximately 50 youth per year in positions that help them begin their careers. We partner with great businesses in the community for all these job placements.”

“We are also extremely proud of a new program funded in part by Community Foundations of Canada, which was obtained through efforts made by our local partner, the Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta,” McKenzie said. “In partnership with Career Transitions, this year we will be able to help up to 25 high school students at risk of dropping out — and 100 teens or young adults who are not in school — develop a career path and/or get their education back on track.”

Behind the scenes, the volunteer-governed organization — officially the Lethbridge Youth Foundation, which operates 5th on 5th Youth Services — has evolved with the changing times and restructured to become more project-based while continuing to meet the needs of young people in the community.

“We are using our building, which we own, to help realize our mission by being strategic and renting space to other organizations that help youth in the City,” Board President Joanna Kappel said.

“Reeves College enrolls more than 100 students per year and has been located with us since 2008. Ability Resource Centre supports over 120 individuals with disabilities throughout the city. At our location the LIFE service supports young adults with disabilities develop a high level of independence, preparation for employment or post-secondary education. This year, we welcomed McMan Youth, Family, and Community Service Association to our space. They provide services to at-risk youth, are part of the Housing First initiative, work with individuals with FASD and operate their Post-Release program.”

“Their commitment to making a difference in the community is a great fit with what we are working to accomplish. We are grateful to local manufacturer Kawneer which, through the Alcoa Foundation, provided a $10,000 grant and volunteer labour, under Dash Enterprise expert supervision, to make our co-habitation a reality with a small renovation of our upper level.”

The campaign closes with ‘A Taste of Lethbridge’, an appreciation event for all donors at the $125 level and higher to be held on Saturday, April 9, 2016. To date, the Investing in Youth campaign has raised more than $600,000 for projects supporting young people.

This year’s gala is hosted by Exhibition Park, an organization well known in the community for bringing people together for nearly 120 years. As one of the oldest Agricultural Societies in Alberta, the facility often bursts at the seams with visitors who attend an estimated 1,000 events per year.

On the menu for the gala — unique food items and refreshments from an array of Lethbridge’s finest restaurants, a chance to win prizes, a 50/50 draw, live entertainment and an exciting silent auction with specialty items from around the community.

Established in 1994, the Lethbridge Youth Foundation will celebrate serving the community for 22 years this summer as a not-for-profit, charitable organization that operates 5th on 5th Youth Services. It is dedicated to supporting youth, through programs and services in becoming responsible, capable, caring individuals by providing opportunities to pursue goals in: academic development, career development, social development, and employment.

Donate today, to be invited to this evening to remember! To make it easier, we now accept online donations – just be sure to give us your information, so we can give you an invitation! Donations of increments of $125 will entitle you an invitation for 2 people to attend, as well as a charitable tax receipt.
Call (403) 329-3555 to donate with your credit card (VISA or MasterCard), or simply drop by 435 5th Street South to donate by cash, debit, or cheque

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  • March 15 & 16: FLI (Forward Life Impact) program information sessions – sign up today!
  • March 17: Resume Writing Workshop – Sign up, space is limited
  • March sign up for Reach Up
  • March drop in or call to get your resume emailed to you
  • March 25 & 28: Closed for Easter Weekend


  • April 9: A Taste of Lethbridge – Hosted by Exhibition Park
  • April drop in or call to get your resume emailed to you
  • April sign up for Reach Up
  • April 12 & 13: FLI (Forward Life Impact) program information sessions – sign up today!


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