What do you do when your pool table breaks?
You hold a fundraising car wash and barbecue to raise the $300 you need to fix it.
At least, this is what one group of intrepid teens did at the Burnaby Youth Hub near Metrotown.
Janet Goosney, coordinator for the Youth Hub, says the pool table is a major source of entertainment and socialization for the kids who drop in to the centre.
They also have access to a kitchen, couches, bookshelves and a TV with a Wii system.
"I think they just like that this is their place," said Goosney of the welcoming atmosphere.
"It is used, and we want to keep promoting it. A lot of the groups that come in the evening will then go over and hang out in the youth centre."
The drop-in centre, open 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, is just one part of the vast array of services offered at the Hub.
The Hub's steering committee includes representatives from the City of Burnaby, the school district, the Fraser Health Authority, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, the Vancouver Foundation, Coast Capital Savings and Vancity.
Aimed at helping young people between the ages of 13 and 25 with education, health and personal development, the centre is next door to a free, confidential health clinic. It also offers high school education, counselling services and a number of other programs.
The idea, said Goosney, is to have all the services available to youth in one place.
"I just love that so many different groups and agencies have come together and are doing the best they can and helping kids," she said.
"And the kids are great. They like coming in, and they bring in friends. It's working so well."
Any young person who wants high school credits, help with finding housing or work, or just wants a place to spend time with others is welcome, whether they live in Burnaby or farther away.
Started in September 2010, the Hub began as a high school program for students who were no longer attending classes at their schools.
After Sue Dorey, the school district's youth services manager, managed to track down many of these students, she found most were interested in going back to school.
Some had been attending classes sporadically, others had been kicked out, while others had officially dropped out to find work.
Hub teacher Stephanie Myers said when students first come to the Hub they soon discover they're "the navigators of their own ship," and they flourish when they realize they can keep their own schedules and still get a high school diploma through this program.
"They get the required curriculum; English, science, math, all the stuff they need to graduate, but we also try to bring in life skills," she said.
One student got credits for a passion that now has him working full-time in the community.
When the 17-year-old first came to the Hub, his head hung down and he didn't have much enthusiasm for schoolwork, Myers recalls.
When she asked him what he'd rather be doing if he wasn't at school, his answer surprised her: blowing glass.
"I said, 'That's wicked! Do you have any (pieces) to show me?' and now his head is up and he's beaming," she said.
Myers said the young man was smart but bored in his regular school and had discovered glass blowing through a friend of a friend and found a real enthusiasm for the craft.
Taking an independent directed studies class at the Hub allowed him to keep doing what he loved and get credits towards his high school diploma.
While these self-directed courses are available at all high schools in the district, it's something that the two teachers at the Hub school really encourage students to try.
"We're really just catering to the kid and putting the kid at the centre of their learning, which I think is important because it builds responsibility," said Myers.