Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/12/2017 (810 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I was excited to get a sneak peak at the renovations underway at Sam’s Place, Elmwood’s favourite bookstore-café-music venue. The premises at 159 Henderson Hwy. are getting a major makeover.
The changes will enhance their successful program for developing the employment skills of local youth and make it an even better place to go for "Coffee, Culture, Conversation." A grand reopening is scheduled for some time in January 2018, and I can hardly wait!
In 2009, the Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba opened Sam’s Place in storefront space below its program offices at 159 Henderson. The café soon evolved into a full-blown social enterprise whose mission is to give area youth the skills they need to get their first job.
The Youth Engagement Program at Sam’s Place trains young people between 14 to 24 years old who live or study in the Elmwood community. These youth learn "hard" and "soft" skills — in the kitchen and with customers — that enable them to gain the confidence and experience needed to get employment in the food service industry. In 2017, 28 Sam’s trainees have gone on to find their first job!
The renovations now underway will greatly improve the customer experience in the bookstore-café-music venue and, most importantly, upgrade the kitchen. By building a real commercial kitchen, Sam’s Place will be able to expand and improve its training program. Volunteers will get the chance to learn in an environment with the tools and equipment they will use at work.
The renos will also help Sam’s Place increase its restaurant, catering, baking services and event hosting capabilities, which improve the viability of the social enterprise and secure its services to the community.
The "new" Sam’s Place will also be an even better venue for their popular weekend music concerts and a great place to host other special events, like large parties, small weddings, fundraisers, community meetings and more!
Though funded in part by the Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba Community Services Council (MCSC) and Local Investment Toward Employment (LITE), donations to Sam’s Place, whether in the form of books or bucks, are always welcome. And right now, they have a special need for volunteers who can use their skills to mentor Sam’s youth volunteers.
Thank you to all the staff at Sam’s Place; for their dedication to our community, and for having the confidence it takes to expand and improve their mission in Elmwood. I’m looking forward to once again enjoying one of their excellent soups in the New Year!
Elmwood-Transcona constituency report.
Daniel Blaikie is the NDP MP for Elmwood-Transcona.