Our Daily Bread Moves Downtown
For the past ten years the Kootenay Christian Fellowship’s Our Daily Bread program has, according to Pastor Jim Reimer, “served over 120,000 nutritious meals to the poor, disenfranchised, elderly and the homeless” from its location at 812 Stanley Street.
But soon that work will be done from 520 Falls Street, the building that currently houses the Savoy Lanes bowling alley and the SPCA.
Council OKs churches downtown
To make this possible, Nelson City Council on Monday night unanimously voted to add the word “church” to the definition of its Core Commercial zone. The change came in response to a re-zoning application by the Kootenay Christian Fellowship.
The Christian Fellowship’s church and hot lunch program will occupy the space recently vacated by the Curves fitness centre. The SPCA ‘s lease extends another three years. The bowling alley’s lease is up this spring and according to Reimer, the owners do not intend to renew it.
Services other than food
“Our Daily Bread provides so many services other than just food,” Reimer told The Nelson Daily. “There is social networking, email, phone services, life skills counselling, informal counselling of different kinds, so this is a valuable service to the community, not just for the food. We will double the space up. During the week it will be Our Daily Bread and Sundays it will be worship, and that way we really make use of the building. This building is really going to be used from top to bottom.”
Long-term plan: housing and retail
The 15,000 square foot building sits on a .9-acre parcel of land.
“Our long term plan, our second phase,’ said Reimer, “will be to develop the land, develop the property for retail and for low-cost housing, so we can create a continuum, so we can not only help people but we can create a financial base to make our services viable in the community without having to fundraise all the time.”
The move has been made possible by a $43,000 Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) grant to the social action aspect of the church.
“The CBT has a new funding stream now, “ says Reimer,” to help in the social sector, and this has been really helpful.”
A commitment to the residents
The Kootenay Christian Fellowship’s current building on Stanley Street is for sale.
“We made a commitment to the community ten years ago,” says Reimer, “that if the opportunity came up we would move Our Daily Bread into a less residential area, and we are trying to fulfill our word, although after ten years their fears were never realized.”
Asked if there has been any pushback now, coming from similar fears for the downtown location, Reimer said, “Almost none. It will enhance the downtown because the services we provide we will help the downtown become a more vibrant place.”