HALIFAX – Souls Harbour Rescue Mission in north-end Halifax is getting a major facelift thanks to a successful bid for a $100,000 grant.
The drop-in centre serves about 100 hot lunches every weekday to the community’s needy and does it out of a small kitchen with a single family-sized stove.
On Tuesday, after months of online campaigning for votes, the mission learned it had won the prize from the Aviva Community Fund.
“We were just over the moon and happy,” said Ken Porter, the mission’s chaplain and co-founder. “It’s been a long project —; getting people to vote —; just hoping and believing and wishing it would come to pass and it has.”
Porter made an announcement during Tuesday’s lunch service about the win and received a round of applause from the room. Clients say they are overwhelmed and happy the mission was chosen.
“I’m grateful for places like this,” said Chris Hawkins. “It’s a great thing that they won…just awesome. They deserve it.”
Staff and volunteers have big plans for the money.
“We’re going to pretty much tear out the existing kitchen…tear out a bit of the office space as well and make it into a modern industrial commercial-type kitchen that can feed more people,” Porter said.
Souls Harbour’s head chef and the chaplain’s brother, Les Porter, was serving up a meal of spaghetti and pea soup on Tuesday. He says the money will help create a larger space for volunteers to work in and a more comfortable dining room area for clients.
“The main thing will be the kitchen though of course: the renovation, the new equipment and all that kind of stuff to prepare the food better and more easily. I think it will be great,” Les said.
He’s said he’s most looking forward to getting a convection oven for the kitchen and a dishwasher.
The mission is thanking everyone who voted for them and is now looking into the logistics of doing all the renovations while maintaining their services for the community.