Photo by Bob Montgomery

Gateway Centre Proposes New Use For Former Bluewater Centre

The former Bluewater Youth Centre near Goderich could still be used to house Syrian refugees.

The Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health is working with ten students and one professor from Western University’s Masters of Public Health program to see if they can re-open the facility as a transition centre for refugees.

At a news conference Monday, Gateway President Gwen Devereaux explained the Bluewater Centre could accommodate about 200 people.  It would be ideal for refugees to be able to come as a community, get medical treatment for things like post traumatic stress as well as a number of other problems they might have, and then move on to communities throughout Canada.

Devereaux pointed out many of the refugees come from rural communities so some of them might be interested in staying in Huron County.

Five students would work on stage one of the project, and five would work on a second stage that would see Bluewater transformed into an addiction and post traumatic stress disorder centre of excellence.

The former Bluewater Centre is owned by the Province and the money required to make the centre acceptable to receive refugees would come from the Federal government.

So far, they have not had any response from either level of government so Devereaux says there is still a lot of work to do.