R Ricardo introduced Rene Schmidt of the Beacon.
Rene has been in Brighton since 1989, coming from Scarborough. He was an Elementary Teacher for over 30 years.
Rene was Chair of the Beacon Youth Centre for about 4 years. He has passed Chair position to younger blood, Mike Fuller is current Chair. The Beacon Youth Centre has been in Brighton about 17 years.
The Beacon is part of the Quinte Youth Unlimited organization. Quinte Youth Unlimited provide administration services. Quinte Youth Unlimited take a percentage of donations for administration. They have insurance coverage through Youth Unlimited.
The Beacon is primarily a volunteer organization. The Chair gets a stipend.
Beacon open every day schools are open. They provide free lunch to students from both ENSS and Brighton Public School. Recently they had 62 students in for lunch, standing room only. Beacon provides a safe and secure environment for students.
They have about 60 volunteers, some cook, some supervise students. Volunteers generally have Christian values but they do not preach to the kids. Many kids come from marginalized homes.
At the Beacon they have 3 rules: Respect yourself, Respect the facility and Respect others. They do not allow bullying, swearing or any pushing. They enforce these rules by first talking to the student and if not improved, they ask student to leave.
They offer prayer for meal and kids respect that and are quiet.
Beacon is also open after school from 6:30 pm to 8pm Monday to Thursday.
They are supported by 5 local churches as well as the Municipality and service groups and community at large.
Their annual budget is about $70,000 primarily for rent and heat.
They have had volunteers who have been there for years. They get to know the kids and build relationships. They help kids with resumes and getting jobs and just someone to listen.
Sometimes they have organized activities for the kids. They have a good relationship with the schools and communicate issues and problems when they become aware of them.
Pres Daniel thanked Rene.