WHALLEY — After more than a decade operating out of a shared building, the Surrey Urban Mission has a place to call its own. The organization showed off its new space on Friday during its annual Soup de Jour event.
The “grand opening” event included food and fundraising, such as a silent and live auction.
“It’s been quite a journey of not knowing where we were going to be, to just knowing we would be,” said mission director Jonquil Hallgate.
Formerly located at 13388 104th Ave., the mission’s new home is at 10776 King George Blvd. in a storefront that has previously housed a Union Gospel Thrift Store and Whalley Bowling Lanes.
The mission moved into its new location in mid-June and construction has been going on ever since.
“Finally, having some sense of being settled and working with the people in the business community to meet their needs and ensure that the folks that we care about can still receive service. We’re sort of all on the same page now because it didn’t start out that way.”
Hallgate sends thanks to all the individuals and businesses that contributed to the mission’s new home.
A gift of $1 million from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada - BC Synod and Christ the King Lutheran Church meant the mission could purchase its new home.
And Bosa Properties Foundation funded a commercial kitchen that will enable the mission to serve food as well as offer community kitchen programs and training.
“It is a gift that will last for many years,” Hallgate said.
Many other businesses and individuals contributed, through donations or volunteer time, and there was a lot to do, including putting up walls and redoing flooring.
“It was a box when we got here,” she said.
There are many perks in the new space, including a bright waiting area, a shower that will be particularly useful during extreme weather season, a meeting room, a computer area, a wellness centre and other amenities.
Out back is a small garden and just steps away, the mission has gained access to a community garden for guests to putter in.
“I don’t think when we dreamed of what the future would be, we kind of didn’t anticipate having a place that was ours. That is pretty brilliant,” Hallgate said.
“The possibilities are endless. It allows us the opportunity to be able to offer programs 24/7... Buildings are meant to be worn out.”
For more information on the mission, visit www.surreyurbanmission.org.
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