The Door was modeled after The Door New York, a youth centre located in the heart of New York City. When it first opened, The Door took a holistic approach to the services offered and initially provided a broad range of services from recreation to legal and medical services.
Art Stinson, the former head of the School of Social Work at Carleton University, felt that there was a need to offer a place for youth to interact with other young people, to make new friends and to access services. It was this vision that led to opening of The Door in May 1994.
The centre has since evolved and become more focused in its work: it is primarily a place for youth to access educational and employment support, health promotion and recreational programs and to establish links to other youth-oriented programs and services throughout the community. Most important, it is a place where youth can feel good about themselves and their place in the community!
The Door is the only youth centre in the Somerset West area, thus fulfilling a need that is otherwise unmet. The youth come from a variety of backgrounds: some come from a stable home environment and are just looking for a place to hang out with friends. Others are among the high risk youth with no other place to go.
The young people come from a variety of cultures: Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Persian, Somali, Arab, Ethiopian, Italian, Russian, Haitian, and Canadian.
Each youth is expected to contribute and help out in some small way at the centre, whether it's taking out the garbage, cooking dinner, working the front desk, basketball court, and/or participating in the decisions about how The Door operates on a day-to-day basis. This ensures that The Door is truly a facility of and for young people.
Ages served: 12 - 18 years
Languages served: English
Area Served: Ottawa-Carleton