Welcome, we’re glad you’re here. We recommend you watch the above video first, and when you’re done, hit play on the audio to continue your experience!
The Neighbour Centre
Welcome to The Mustard Seed’s 2021 Coldest Night of the Year walk! We’re so excited you’ve chosen to be a part of the walk this year, and hope that it helps you experience your city through a different lens. This year’s funds go towards supporting The Mustard Seed’s pandemic relief efforts; namely, providing daytime and overnight shelter to individuals who have found themselves homeless during this pandemic and to the distribution of healthy meals to families that are struggling with poverty due to the economic downturn. This short 2 kilometer experience has 5 stops where you will learn a little bit more about the area’s history, the social issues and the ways that the community is addressing these issues.
At some locations, you’ll asked to linger as you listen to the audio or to watch a video, and at others, you can continue walking along the route as you listen. Just use the map in the Story City app to see where your next location is and head that direction. If you’re not watching a video, you can turn your screen off to save battery power on your phone as you walk.
Now that the house keeping is out of the way, you’re starting your walk here at your first location, The Neighbour Centre.
If you haven’t watched the video, please do so and come back to the app to play audio when you’re done.
While we keep our blinds down out of respect for the privacy of our patrons, if you could look through the windows, you would see the foyer which houses the front desk, a large table, and guitars hanging on the wall, which are often used by our friends. These hallways leading toward the dining room, commercial kitchen, and passes by a laundry room and shower. The back door opens onto a deck area that is very popular in the summertime.
The Neighbour Centre opened in 2014 in Strathcona a few blocks from here, and it was the result of a collaborative effort of several churches in the area who recognized the growing need for a place for connection, food, shelter and clothing for those in precarious living conditions on the south side of the river. In 2016 The Neighbour Centre partnered with The Mustard Seed, and in 2017 it moved to the location where you stand now.
Prior to COVID, our neighbours had access to laundry and shower, advocacy, employment, and housing support. Other community programs included mail pickup, mobile health units and haircuts. The center has a fully equipped commercial kitchen which allows us to serve hot lunch twice a week. We have since transitioned to curbside pick-up for these lunches but look forward to welcoming our community back for in-person dining when we are able.
Our next stop will introduce you to some wonderful neighbourhood partners…and perhaps to some new dining adventures! Please use the map in the app to find the next location and continue along the route. As you look around, try to imagine what it might have looked like to walk along Whyte Ave from the train station to the Strathcona Hotel a hundred years ago.