UPDATE: Joe's Place Youth Centre still hoping for a miracle
UPDATE: Joe's Place finished 16th out of 25 projects thanks to voters like you! Their project has advanced to the judging round. Winners will be announced January 25. Watch for details.I
Joe’s has reached the semi-final stage of the Aviva Community Fund competition, a national competition sponsored by Aviva, an insurance company that supports projects dedicated to creating positive change in communities.
Twenty-five semi-finalists will advance to a judging round, the results of which will be announced January 16. The winner will receive a grant they can use to fund their community project.
Joe’s Place’s project, which they’ve called Hungry for Hope, has asked for $50,000 to install a commercial kitchen and renovate their cafe area. As a drop-in centre that sees upwards of 300 teenagers each week, Joe’s Place needs to prepare large quantities of food on a regular basis. Without a kitchen in the building, food must be prepared off-site and transported to the centre. Dirty dishes are washed in Rubbermaid bins using water heated in kettles.
“We need a proper kitchen so that we can feed these youth more effectively, but also so that we can teach youth job-skills and use this new area for sustainability fundraising in the future,” says Joe Dueck, the centre’s director and founder. “Youth may come for the food but they stay for the Bible studies. It is in this cafe area that youth will sit with our Briercrest students talking about God or even giving their lives to Christ.”
Joe’s Place has already received a donation of commercial-quality kitchen appliances, but they need further funding for renovations and labour.
“Joe’s Place has been one of our strategic partners for several years now,” says Dwayne Uglem, the president of Briercrest College and Seminary. “It is a celebration of the work of our alumni, it is the context of field education for a large percentage of our students, and it is a wonderful testimony to this region. I want to join ... in advocating for this ministry and their chance to secure national profile and significant funding. They are within reach of finishing, but first need our support and votes.”
To vote for Joe’s Place, click here. You can vote every day, once per day until voting closes December 16.
Joe Dueck, (College ’99) Joe’s Place’s director and founder, began the centre as a Briercrest College and Seminary student. Today, Joe’s Place is staffed primarily by Briercrest College and Seminary students and grads.