Network Ministries makes good use of new building

·2 min read

Network Ministries has a new HQ - O’Brien Middle School.

The Dawson Creek non-profit organization has big plans for the 40,000 square foot facility.

“We’re helping folks who are in poverty, that’s the main mandate,” said executive director Jaqueline Van Spronsen.

“But we’re definitely providing the opportunity for all sorts of people to use the facility.”

A makers’ space is planned, with robotics and coding, board games, stained glass making, carpentry, sewing, painting, and more in the works.

The organization’s mandate remains helping those in need.

“We’re taking care of pretty much everyone from all ages, from single mums with their kids, and up to seniors, we really do take care of everybody,” said Van Spronsen.

“When people come to us, they’re usually in a certain level of crisis.”

The organization runs a pantry program and food bank, feeding those in need, serving roughly 600 homes in Dawson Creek.

Food is donated by Save On, Safeway, No Frills, and Co-op, gifting their perishable food items. A team of volunteers collects and sorts it every week.

A needs based store is also located in the building, offering weather appropriate clothing, furniture, and other essential items.

“If a person comes to us with nothing, we’ll get them set up,” said Van Spronsen. “It’s a really unique experience to have someone come to the store that have never had access to clothing like you and I would.”

The building also sports a large gym, which will be open for residents to rent, such as the Dawson Creek Volleyball Group.

Rental funds go towards paying off the building, which was purchased through School District 59.

Seniors are also being invited to use the space as a walking track.

“One of the other things that we want to do in here is things like allowing seniors to come in and walk in the morning,” said Van Spronsen. “A lot of them, if they’re really elderly, they have to go to the walking track, by the time they get up there, they’re done.”

Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News