ORILLIA, ONT. -- After losing almost $20,000 worth of supplies to a devastating basement flood in mid-July, the Orillia Youth Centre is still in recovery mode.

“We were planning to reopen last week,” says the youth centre’s director, Kevin Gangloff. “We had to push it to the end of next week.”

Not much survived in the three-foot-high flood in their five-foot space.

“We’ve lost all of our youth items down in the basement, which were our donations, decorations, clothing, and back-to-school supplies,” Gangloff says.

He insists the centre isn’t focused on what was lost but on getting back on track to reopen.

The Youth Centre offers drop-in programming for kids aged 11 to 17. Last year they assisted roughly 17,000 young people.

The COVID-19 pandemic suspended drop-in services, but the centre has still been reaching out to youth through other platforms, including online.

While they are eager to get youth back into the building, Gangloff says for the safety of their stuff and youth, there are going to be many changes. That includes heavy sanitization, mask-wearing and social distancing. Unfortunately, they will only be able to have roughly 13 youth inside at a time.

Gangloff is confident the centre will be ready to open soon, and that setbacks are only minor.