The North End Family Centre (NEFC) received a big boost to its relocation/expansion plans.
On July 17, Winnipeg realtors Geoff and Regan Archambault presented NEFC with a cheque for $50,000. In May, NEFC founder and executive director Kyle Mason announced the community gathering place would be moving to 1344 Main St., a space almost three times the size of its current 1322 Main location.
"This investment from the Archambaults is huge for us. It is the single largest donation we’ve received in our four and a half years of operating," Mason said.
"I feel that it’s a really good validation to the work we’re doing and I have high hopes that this is the beginning of a lot of good things happening. Fifty thousand dollars goes a long way, but the overall budget (for the move) is nearing $160,000. This takes us a long way down the road but we still have a ways to go."
In May, Mason told The Times that NEFC receives 1,200 visits a month to its current 1,000 square-foot location. At the 1344 Main St. location, NEFC would have access to almost 3,000 square feet of space, which Mason said would allow for the addition of a kitchen, a multi-purpose room, a quiet room and a "free store" where visitors can pick up hygiene products.
Geoff Archambault said he and his wife made the donation because they strongly believe in what Mason and NEFC are doing.
"We’ve supported Kyle and the North End Family Centre before it even started," Archambault said. "We met Kyle when the centre was just a vision of his, so we went along with the growth of it and we just really see the job that they’re doing here. It’s amazing for the community and we’re just glad to be part of this."
According to their website, www.winnipeghomeconnection.com, the Archambaults, who live in Harbourview South, donate $1,000 of every real estate sale to community parks, projects and places.
"Being a part of a community and being a part of something is huge for a lot of people in the area (North End), because they might not belong to any groups or anything like that, so they come here and feel like a part of something," Archambault said.
"We come here quite often and we see the people and we see how things have changed. It’s amazing."
Mason said the new facility needs to be completely gutted and rebuilt. He said demolition will begin this month, with renovations starting in early September. Mason expects the new NEFC doors to be open in early 2015.
In honour of the Archambaults support, the new space will be named the Archambault Building.
To donate to NEFC’s project, go to www.northendfamilycentre.org or mail a cheque to North End Family Centre, 1322 Main St., Winnipeg, MB, R2W 3T5.