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OutLoud North Bay deemed essential

'I just got the official news that we can open and stay open'
20210408 outloud north bay new
The New OutLoud North Bay location will stay open during the Stay-At-Home Order. Photo courtesy Facebook.

It has been an emotional roller coaster for Seth Compton. 

Compton, the founder of OutLoud North Bay, created the safe space for LGBTQ2S youth in the North Bay area back in the summer of 2020 at a downtown location off Oak Street.

However, just recently they moved to a new location at the Voyager Inn on Delaware Street in North Bay.  

But the new Stay-At-Home order initially appeared to be forcing the unique safe space to close.  

Compton says that changed on Thursday.  

"I just got the official news that we can open and stay open," Compton stated in an emotional video on social media. 

"It was an emotional morning, I have reached out to public health a few times and I have a wonderful lady that I deal with directly just sent me an email indicating that we can keep our doors open.

"For me, it does not really mean much. I put in the work, I put in the time, I put in the energy along with my adult crew, but what this space means to some of the kids."  

See related: OutLoud North Bay is on the move 

Compton was lost for words when he found out they could stay open. 

"It has been overwhelming and I'm glad we can stay open and grateful with public health and we are a service deemed essential," he said.  

"I did not stop fighting. Just knowing some of these kids just require the space as an outlet to get away from their abusive homes, to come and have a meal or to just come in and talk with someone because that is all they need some days."

Compton has had challenges as well with trying to transition into the new facility while working hard at finding financial support through grants and getting official charity status for OutLoud North Bay.  

OutLoud also receives meals from the Gathering Place and snacks provided by the Indigenous Friendship Centre.  

Compton believes the new facility will not be just a safe space emotionally for the teens, but also a safe place with strict COVID-19 health protocols. 

"The kids know we are all about safety," said Compton.

"They come in masks and they hand sanitize. We do temperatures and contact trace and provide social distancing between the small groups of kids who come in in their own little bubbles.  They know the importance to follow the rules."  

The OutLoud space operates after school and during the weekend, Monday to Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 9:30  p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information or if you have some interest in becoming a volunteer you can email [email protected].

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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