Spectrum opens new youth drop-in center in St. Albans

Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 7:02 AM EST
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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) - Spectrum Youth & Family Services is expanding into St. Albans Monday.

At 10 a.m., the Spectrum Youth Drop-in Center on Lake Street in St. Albans will officially open. While the physical space is set, aside from a few pieces, the real work is still ahead of them.

“It definitely feels real. It’s felt kind of like a dream, like maybe this is happening, maybe it’s not,” youth coach Erin Thomson said.

Thomson got to see her office in the Spectrum St. Albans Youth Drop-in Center just last week.

Complete now with furniture, appliances, tech and games, she’s only waiting on the final piece, the youth.

“Being a drop-in center, it’s just such a casual atmosphere, the youth can come and go,” said Thomson.

Thomson says when they are there, it’s because they want to be, and that is key for fostering connections. And when they drop in, they can expect programs tailored to issues they could be struggling with.

“I’m just hoping to educate the youth about things they might not get modeled in other situations,” said Thomson.

That education will come through programming. Thomson has plans for programming on addiction recovery and relationships, but it isn’t only a safe space.

“We are opening, that’s what’s new,” said Stefanie Comstock, the program manager.

We first met Comstock when we found out the drop-in center was opening back in December and she had just gotten hired. Now, she has a clear vision of what she can accomplish in the city.

“Really whatever their need is, they can come here and we can help them get connected,” said Comstock.

Comstock says they want youth who just need a place to go or are homeless. She wants to help them connect to those that want to help.

Services still range from laundry to meals to resume building and everything in between.

Employees like Thomson say they are ready to let the doors swing open.

“It’s amazing, it is definitely something that has been needed for years. The community support that we have is incredible. To be able to bring this amazing resource to this neighborhood is incredible,” said Thomson.

They are still waiting on a few pieces of furniture to totally fill the space and they say a big asset is their air hockey table.

They will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Related Story:

Spectrum to open new drop-in center for at-risk youth in Franklin County

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