The LINC Youth Centre offers many things to young people: low-cost drop-in programs, a free food program each Saturday, and the only indoor skatepark on Vancouver Island.
Annual events include the Young Ones vs. Old Ones Road Hockey Tournament and the Gnarly Little Christmas Craft Fair.
“We’re really a gem when it comes to our community,” youth services co-ordinator Kristine Klupsas told Courtenay council Tuesday.
The centre and the skatepark opened in 2006. Since that time, some of the skaters have grown up to become professional skateboarders, featured in magazines and articles.
LINC’s primary goal is to offer a safe space for youth nine to 18 years, some of whom are ‘at risk,’ perhaps with addiction or mental health issues.
Klupsas notes an increase in youth with special needs.
“They’re blending right in,” she said.
Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard noted the difficulty of reaching vulnerable situations.
“The fact that you’re able to draw them in and change their lives is amazing,” Leonard said. “I’m in awe.”
The Haunted House opens Oct. 25 at the LINC.