About Us

 Sidestreets Youth Centre is a place for youth from Dresden and the surrounding areas, from 10-17 years of age, to meet and socialize.  Sidestreets provides a safe and enjoyable environment where youth can be involved in programs to help deal with the challenges of everyday life.

Our priority is to build a greater sense of community among the youth within the Centre and to develop stronger connections between youth and adults in the wider community.
The goal of the centre is to give youth, between the ages of 10 and 17 a place to meet where they feel safe and that they can call their own.  We have witnessed increased community participation among the youth at the centre and a better understanding by them of the role of volunteers in society.
We are building a greater community within the Centre in a number of ways.We continue to have special theme and movie nights.The centre is always decorated for each holiday of the calendar.  Secondly, we are building stronger connections with the wider community as evidenced by our continuing participation in the Dresden Santa Claus parade and Community Cleanup Day.  Thirdly, youth from the centre have participated in community fundraising with a Santa Claus Breakfast to raise funds for United Way.  Fourthly, a number of our youth and volunteers attended a youth centre leadership conference each spring for the last 4 years, in Smith Falls, Guelph, Barrie, Brantford and most recently Ottawa.
Due to the new education legislation we see a real need for the After School Homework Program.  Our long term goal is to establish programs like an after-school program to help students develop their computer and academic skills, and give teens a place to do their homework or work on resumes.
At this stage our Centre is being staffed by one part-time paid coordinator, and numerous community volunteers. The community has experienced social problems from youth with “nothing to do”.  There has been some decrease in vandalism since the opening of the Centre in 2000.  A major goal is to involve youth in our community to enable them to become productive members of our community. 

Sidestreets Youth Centre offers a variety of assets for the youth including:

- A regulation size pool tables

- Six computers with high speed internet access

- A foosball table

- A well-furnished lounge area

- Large screen television

- X-Box 360 video game console

- A karaoke system

Our History

In the spring of 1998 the residents of Dresden, a rural community of 2,700, became increasingly concerned with the number of youth congregating in the community’s downtown area.  When the youth were asked why they were hanging out on street corners, they said they were bored and had no place to go.  After talking with youth, a group of concerned citizens got together to look at the possibility of establishing a youth drop-in centre in Dresden.  A steering committee was formed in the spring of 1999 to further develop on the idea.

The steering committee proceeded to produce its core values, mission statement, by-laws, policies and procedures, and yearly budget.  A board of directors and executive were elected.  A Youth Committee was formed, mostly from students from the high school in town, to help in decision-making, fundraising and operation of the centre.

The committee found an empty storefront in the downtown area and a local community group agreed to pay the rent of $550 per month for one year.  Along with other community and service group contributions, we then felt that we had enough financing to open with the help of the Board and other community volunteers.  On July 7th, 2000 Sidestreets Youth Drop-In Centre officially opened.  In June 2003, we moved to a larger building a few doors down to accommodate the increasing number of youth that were attending the centre.  We’re open to the youth on Wednesday through Thursday from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM as well as Friday and Saturday from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Did you know?

-Sidestreets is, for some youth, the only positive force in their lives?

-Sidestreets is open to all youth and children's groups?

-Sidestreets serves about 150 young people from Tuesday to Saturday, ages 12-17?

-Since the centre opened in 2000, there has been a decrease in vandalism in Dresden?  


Core Values

1) Sense of Self-Worth 

 We hold that an individuals self-worth is important to their growth.

2) Acceptance

We believe that every young person has the right to be
heard, accepted and responded to.

3) Support

 We uphold the importance of positive role models and other
supports in young people's lives.

4) Volunteers

The involvement and support of volunteers is valued and is
essential to help youth grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

5) Learning

 We recognize that learning plays a significant role in the
development of youth. We foster, support and encourage life long learning.

6) Community

 We recognize that youth have an important contribution to make to the community. 

Did you know?

-Sidestreets is, for some youth, the only positive force in their lives?

-Sidestreets is open to all youth and children's groups?

-Sidestreets serves about 150 young people from Tuesday to Saturday, ages 12-17?

-Since the centre opened in 2000, there has been a decrease in vandalism in Dresden?

A Testimonial From One Of The Youth

"Growing up in a small town is hard for a youth with little to no positive ways to pass the time.  Thankfully Dresden has Sidestreets, a haven to not only thirteen year olds but also high school seniors like myself.  Having a positive, encouraging environment helps immensely for youth in many different aspects.  The Centre gives youth a chance to deserve something.  Without good behaviour and proper conduct, they lose the opportunity.  It's not only a good moral system, which is crucial in the teen years, it's a home away from home.  These kids are learning things without even realizing it because of the environment, which is the glory of having a place dedicated to the youth.  Sidestreets Youth Centre has had a large impact on my life, whether it is memories of hanging out in the back with some friends, or going to the TYPS conference and learning many new things.  It, coupled with the wonderful staff, make lasting impressions on everyone that walks in the door and helps these kids make the transition into adults easier."