Centre of Hope Raising $5M For Much Needed Renovations

A campaign is being started to help the Centre of Hope get a much needed update.

The organization’s Board of Directors is looking to raise around $5 million to help renovate and fix the downtown building.

The building has been at the corner of Franklin Avenue and McLeod Street since 2005, but is currently facing the possibility of it no longer being operational.

Dennis Nephin, member of the Board of Directors, tells Mix News the organization is in a dire need for the rebuild.

“People don’t understand how many people it sees a month or a day, there’s a lot of youth, (Indigenous) people who use it.”

The idea is to keep the Centre of Hope at its current location.

Nephin says they feel moving the building would hurt the people they’re trying to help.

“When it’s minus 50 and you’re walking down the street with that wind in your face, you really don’t want to be going too far – Marshall House is also the same distance down the other way.”

The Centre of Hope is currently a drop-in-centre where the less fortunate can get a meal, shower, do laundry, and simply get out of the cold.

When renovated, the hope is to expand on this.

“The plan is to build a facility that’s more of helping people get back on their feet and getting out there, everyone deserves a place to go that’s for sure, but if while they’re there we can help educate, help train, and get them back into the working world,” added Nephin.

The organization plans to host multiple events in the final months of 2019 and across 2020 to help raise the funds. Starting things off will be a Luncheon and Gala at the Fort McMurray Golf Club on November 28.

The Board of Directors is hoping to have the funds by the end of 2020 with construction starting in the spring of 2021.

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