NEW LOOK- Giovanni De Minico works on sanding the wall under the guidance of executive director Kim Wilson as renovations begin in Berachah Place in downtown Red Deer.

Renovations underway at Berachah Place

Berachah Place, a drop-in downtown ministry, will have a fresh new look by the middle of October.

Located at 4611 – 50 Ave., the facility, which is a ministry of Deer Park Alliance Church, was flooded back in July which left the carpet ruined and some of the dry-wall in disrepair as well.

“We had to rip up all the carpet, and that really hurried the renovation process,” explained Kim Wilson, executive director.

Support from both the community and folks who benefit directly from the services at Berachah Place has been solid since.

Home Depot is donating materials to have the concrete floors sanded, painted and sealed as that seemed the most practical way to go in case of future flooding.

Dry-wall renovations will be done by some of the clients who utilize Berachah Place services.

Wilson said some of the money for work and materials such as paint and new furniture is coming from a fundraiser was held in the summer which raised $1,777.

Balmoral Bible Chapel has also lent a helping hand as well by donating ceiling tiles and carpentry work.

“We’re really looking forward to brightening up the place with new paint, new flooring and new ceiling tiles,” said Wilson.

Berachah Place first opened its doors back in 2005. Its mission is to provide help to those struggling under the weight of homelessness and addiction.

There are snacks available plus toiletries, laundry services and a place for folks to gather indoors and rest.

Numbers of course climb as the temperatures drop, said Wilson.

“On a typical summer day we’ll get 20 people.” On a cool, wet autumn day, 50 to 60 people could stop in. “On a really cold winter day we’re seeing up to 95 people,” she said.

“It fluctuates with the weather.”

Winter hours, which kick in in a few weeks, are from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Mondays, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays and 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Fridays.

On Saturday, services are available from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

For Wilson, working at Berachah Place has provided a rich source of fulfillment.

“To know that I’m someone in their day where they’ve seen evidence that someone cares, and that someone genuinely wants to provide comfort – whether it be a shower, clean clothes. To be their Jesus in the day – to be that unconditional love that they may not see for the rest of the day,” she said.

Meanwhile, there is always room for more volunteer help in a number of capacities. Donations of everything from winter coats, boots, tooth brushes, and first aid supplies to laundry soap, deodorant and backpacks are always welcome also.

For more information about donating or volunteering, check out www.berachahplace.com or call 403-877-8055.

mweber@reddeerexpress.com

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