Emerge have started a garage sale in both the Station Street restaurant and The Hub on Russell St. Jen Shaw.
Emerge have started a garage sale in both the Station Street restaurant and The Hub on Russell St. Jen Shaw.

‘Year of evolution’: Emerge to close youth hub

Emerge founder Jen Shaw has made a big call for the year 2021 – it’s the year of evolution.

As Emerge continues to grow and become a powerhouse in the Toowoomba community, change will be important to the organisation.

But one change may surprise residents.

The team at Emerge have made the decision to close their youth hub as they prepare to make milestone changes this year.

“We’ve found that we have evolved from needing the hub,” Ms Shaw said.

“COVID showed us that we can operate out of our cafe and as a mobile support team.

“To save money we’ve come to the decision to close the youth hub and operate a different way.”

Jen Shaw made the tough decision to close the Russell Street Emerge Hub. Picture: Bev Lacey
Jen Shaw made the tough decision to close the Russell Street Emerge Hub. Picture: Bev Lacey

Ms Shaw said the hub had served its purpose and become a staple for the organisation, but as the organisation continues to grow and evolve, she said it was time to rethink their work and how they operate.

“We’ve been around for a couple of years now so we’ve really hashed out what our part is in the community,” she said.

“It really is in that crisis and outreach space and also in the employment, so we’ve just evolved out of needing the hub.

“It served its purpose when we first started and now we’ve built that trust with a lot of the young people in the community that they reach out to us anywhere we are.

“We could be standing on the steps of Grand Central and they’d find us.

“We don’t necessarily need that hub, we’re a community wherever we go.”

The hub will close on March 8.

Originally published as ‘Year of evolution’: Emerge to close youth hub