The ‘Samaritan Project’
Since opening its doors in 1990, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission has served well over 1,500,000 meals, given away more than 300,000 pieces of clothing and provided in excess of 55,000 nights of emergency shelter!
In addition to this, those participating in our addiction programs have received more than 50,000 hours of class time and over 1,800 counselling sessions! During the last twenty five years we have changed locations numerous times, mostly out of necessity, as the buildings became unusable. Such is the case once again where the current building that houses our men’s shelter, free clothing store, and soup kitchen is coming to the end of its life.
The maintenance costs for this building are escalating, it’s over a 100 years old, and it’s already been ‘revived’ on a major scale once. In addition we’ve also outgrown the place!
It’s hard to believe that each day we use this building to serve an average of 200 meals, hand out free clothing to anyone in need, and provide a safe place to stay for a minimum of 12 men. In spite of our efforts, many men are still forced to find another place to sleep. Over the years we have endeavoured to be good stewards of what we’ve been provided with, often stretching the resources we’ve been given to the absolute maximum!
Souls Harbour Rescue Mission is called to serve those in need. It is the reason each of our staff get up in the morning, and collectively we strive to serve our many guests by being good stewards of all the resources we’ve received. Stewardship is something we take very seriously, and it’s the motivation behind this project to replace our aging Soup Kitchen and Emergency Shelter.
We embrace both sides of the old adage, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Our emergency services, such as our Men’s Shelter, Soup Kitchen, and Free Clothing Store strive to meet that need of giving a man a fish so he is fed and cared for the day; however the programs in our daycare, youth center, and addiction services strive to teach our guests the skills which will help them become able to feed themselves for a lifetime. We are not the answer to all our social woes but we do our best to address them.
In the Bible there is a story of the Good Samaritan. In this story there was a person walking along the road when they were mugged and beaten up by a robber. Many people passed by, even ‘crossing to the other side of the street’ to avoid having to ‘deal’ with this wounded broken person. After a while, a Samaritan comes along and notices this individual. They help the person onto their animal and take them to an Inn; where the Samaritan delivers the beaten up person to the Inn-keeper, providing a small sack of coins to help with the care of the stranger. The Samaritan leaves, telling the Innkeeper that they’ll be back to cover any other costs that the Innkeeper may incur in caring for this person.
In this story, our donors have shown themselves as being the Good Samaritan over and over again. We are privileged that so many people see Souls Harbour Rescue Mission as being that Innkeeper, one in whom they trust with the care of others. We are honored to serve those whom God brings to us and we are thankful that there are many Good Samaritans out there who help us do this work through their volunteer time and their financial donations.
Today, we need to build a new Inn and so we are asking all of you Good Samaritans to help us with this project!
We have developed a sustainable model that embraces and invites stewardship at every level. We want the story of this new ‘Inn’ – this new Soup Kitchen (and more) to be all about reclamation and care at every level.
The story of this new ‘Inn’ begins with the location. Today, there are numerous ‘brownfields’ littered throughout the city of Regina; old abandoned gas station sites where the soil is most likely contaminated. We have purchased a lot within the North Central area. Such a location would allow us to provide much needed services to those within the community without forcing them to travel to our current location on the other side of the downtown core.
We also want the new building to be green, and it incorporates a variety of standards including things like using recycled steel, being close to a bus stop, passive energy building methodologies, and so on. Our environmental stewardship will continue through the use of existing partnerships, such as with Lorass Disposal, to continue to put into place a variety of premium recycling programs. We believe this story of redemption, from the reclaiming of a brownfield, to an environmentally friendly building, to the sustainability of the very operation of the building through various energy initiatives (reducing our carbon footprint), will appeal to many stakeholders, as such a project has not been done by any another Inner-city Mission in North America.
The building design itself will be simple and innovative with respect to space usage. As an example our new dining room, which will hold close to double the people as our current dining room, will convert to the men’s shelter in the evenings. This means we can easily double the capacity of our men’s shelter from 12 to 24 spaces; and still have extra space for emergency overflow! The concept of converting the dining room to a shelter space is not new, and has proven to be effective in creating a sense of community and connection between the men. The men will be able to eat, then help with the clean-up, put away the tables and chairs, and then bring out the cots for the night.
In conclusion we will have reclaimed a contaminated lot, built an environmentally friendly “green” building, and utilized the space to invite our end-users into community, contributing to the services provided to them – in a sense learning how to fish while being fed a fish.
We would like to build this new ‘Inn’ and increase the services that we already provide, but we can’t do it without your help! So we are asking all of you Good Samaritans to help us.
Would you consider a donation today?
FALL 2016 UPDATE
The Samaritan Project Update Fall 2016
We are anticipating zoning approval within the next couple of months and with that we get to kick start Phase 2 into high gear! The main concern regarding the zoning approval was that we were short a couple of parking stalls and we are really close to putting together an agreement that would give us access to those parking stalls. We hope to have that agreement in place by the end of November. In addition we recently brought on board a Passive build expert who is recognised nationally for the work that he has done in commercial passive projects. We are excited to have his expertise guide our team in this critical phase and the work that he will be able to do for us will save us tens of thousands of dollars with the build and also in ongoing operating costs. We hope to make some major announcements with the project in early January so stay tuned!
SPRING 2016 UPDATE
The Samaritan Project Update Spring 2016
We have now finished Phase 1 of this amazing project and our team over at SEPW is now completing the application process with the City of Regina. We have been meeting with the City over the last two years regarding this project so we are not anticipating any problems as our project moves through the process for approval. We understand that this process will take upwards of six months to complete before we are granted approval from the City. Once that process has finished we can officially move into Phase 2 of the project!
Fall 2015 UPDATE
The Samaritan Project Update Fall 2015
We have land!
In fact, we are excited because our piece of land was a brownfield. We have owned this land for a few years as it was slated for a previous project as an add-on to our existing 30-suite apartment building (Harbour House), located at 1610 Angus St. Back when we acquired the land we went through the environmental process to clean it up as it used to be a battery depot, among other things.
We are excited that the land is a brownfield because it stays within the overall environmental stewardship aspect of this project. We are reclaiming the land and now through an environmental responsible building we are reclaiming broken lives as well.
We have a construction manager and builder. Leon Friesen of Westridge Construction has joined our team for The Samaritan Project. We signed the contracts this fall and are now working hard on Phase 1 of the project.
We also have our architectural firm with the addition of Phil Evans from SEPW on board our team. His contract is now signed and we anticipate the next six months being about amending the zoning on the land through the city and getting our financial arrangements in place. Then we will start Phase 2 of the project, which will be to produce drawings and the tendering process. We anticipate having shovels in the ground in early 2017 with an anticipated build timeline of a year.
The Samaritan Project will be unlike any other project in Canada and perhaps even North America. This building will be built on a brownfield and will hold a soup kitchen, free clothing store, 60-spot daycare, 20 low-income residential units, and a roof-top community garden space along with an outdoor play area for the daycare children – and it will be done by a non-profit and built in a sustainable, green, environmentally focused way.
In fact, the building will encompass passive build standards, meaning that our focus will be on the envelope and air tightness of the building so we do not need to utilize standard heating / cooling systems such as a boiler system or air conditioning system, which have very high operating costs.
Our build focus will be on incorporating both materials and methodologies that we believe will reduce our operating costs by as much as 80-90% of a comparable commercial building! That is great news for our donors because that means more of their dollar can go to the people that need it the most – the people we serve each and every day! Plus, the business plan for this building includes incorporating revenue streams from the daycare and the residential units, which we believe will cover the operating costs of the building.
Thus, all of our donor dollars will be focused 100% on programming and that is good news for everyone!