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Youth need to be more engaged in Belleville

 

BELLEVILLE - Alexandra Bell works at Community Learning Alternatives on Bridge Street East. She thinks the city should focus on its socioeconomic issues that she says is a bigger problem than the downtown's revitalization. Photo by Greg Murphy. [1]

BELLEVILLE – Alexandra Bell works at Community Learning Alternatives on Bridge Street East. She thinks the city should focus on its socioeconomic issues that she says is a bigger problem than the downtown’s revitalization. Photo by Greg Murphy.

By Suzanne Coolen [2] and Greg Murphy [3]

BELLEVILLE – A resident who prepares people for employment says more needs to be done to engage young people in the city of Belleville.

Alexandra Bell  is an instructor with  Community Learning Alternatives [4]. She says the number of young people facing poverty and unemployment is a factor in the lack of community engagement.

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Bell says although there are programs for youth, most seem to be focused on specific groups.

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Bell also says that there is a lack of higher wage jobs available to young people, and that’s why some of them are leaving the city to seek work elsewhere.

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Bell says that the it should be natural for kids attending college in Belleville to get engaged with what’s happening. But because of the school’s location and lack of bus service, that’s not happening to the extent that it should be.

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She says she would like to see council push towards a more youth friendly city.

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Bells says disengaged youth aren’t the only group that are in need of attention from city hall.

She also wants to see more being done about unemployed and underemployed adults, which she says is a huge issue in the core. She’s got some concerns about  the new development proposals [10] for downtown.

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Bell says she wants a council who will speak out to protect the reputation of people living in poverty in the downtown core – youth included.

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