With all the news about COVID-19, it’s clear that we need to look out for one another and care for those around us.  Welcome Inn Community Centre is trying to do just that!

Welcome Inn is a dynamic community centre that dares to imagine that there is a different and more vibrant path forward for all members of the North End community, even during difficult times.  Welcome Inn has been in the neighbourhood since 1966, working to alleviate poverty, loneliness and marginalization by offering supportive relationships, promoting wellness and providing capacity-building opportunities.  It’s a place where people can experience a sense of belonging, together with friends and neighbours.

On a weekly basis, Welcome Inn opens its doors to its North End neighbours.  It’s a place that welcomes those who have lived here for generations, as well as those who have only recently moved to Canada.  Welcome Inn’s food bank, even during this current pandemic, is open four days a week and is a significant support for those living in poverty.  Normally on Tuesdays, seniors are invited to enjoy lunch together and break through some of the isolation that they may be experiencing.  In response to COVID-19, we are still connecting with seniors by phone and by email, just to make sure that people are managing well enough.  During a typical week, children from both Bennetto and St. Lawrence schools gather together for Welcome Inn’s Learning & Fun afterschool program.  It’s a great way for kids to have some fun and get some additional homework support.

Located at 520 James Street North, New Horizons Thrift Store is more than just a thrift store!  It is Welcome Inn’s attempt to provide capacity-building opportunities for those who want to contribute, but can’t participate in the traditional workforce.  Unfortunately, both the afterschool program and the thrift store have had to be temporarily shut down due to COVID-19.  Don’t worry, though, they will be back up and running soon!

The work that Welcome Inn does in the community is supported by many foundations and individual donors.  On April 30th, Welcome Inn is hoping to host a major fundraising event at The Spice Factory, starting at 7:00pm.  The Art of Caring will definitely be a night to remember!  Local artists will have their work on display and over 30 original pieces will be available for purchase, with all proceeds going to support Welcome Inn’s programs. Delicious appetizers will be served throughout the evening, and guests will receive a complimentary drink with each ticket purchase.  And, most importantly, you’ll catch a glimpse of the impact Welcome Inn is having on children, seniors and those often marginalized!

Tickets for the event can be purchased online through Eventbrite or directly at Welcome Inn Community Centre (40 Wood Street East).  If the event does happen to get cancelled because of COVID-19, we will happily refund any tickets sold and, of course, plan another fundraiser soon enough.