Steinbach Community Outreach is now operating out of a larger space.
The organization works to restore dignity through meeting basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and connection. Spokesperson Myra Gerbrandt says their clientele is generally the poor and homeless in Steinbach and area.
Steinbach Community Outreach operates out of Steinbach Mennonite Church. Gerbrandt says they work with many organizations in town, including Soup's On and Today House. She notes Irene Kroeker, who works in Housing Support will often get a phone call in the middle of the night from a concerned citizen, from the RCMP or the hospital identifying someone that is on the street and needs help. This then gets the ball rolling.
"What we provide sort of fills in some of the gaps that some of the other organizations don't," says Gerbrandt. "Our food is more family packaged, so we have cooked meals for them that we hand out whereas it's different at Soup's On and Helping Hands."
Gerbrandt says their larger space at Steinbach Mennonite Church allows them to expand their programming.
"We can dream, we can think about what kind of program we want to do," she says. "We were thinking of maybe some kind of computer station, we're thinking of just games night out."
Gerbrandt says they are creating a space where people can just sit around the table, sip coffee together and become friends. Not only that, they also now have a room for kids to play, while their parents spend time getting to know other people.
According to Gerbrandt, she has witnessed firsthand how Steinbach Community Outreach is making a difference in this community. She recalls a young man who they used to see on a regular basis. It seemed hopeless and Gerbrandt says they had given up on him. Then they stopped seeing him and a year later he came by, cleaned up and dressed nicely.
"We were just shocked beyond belief," she recalls.
Gerbrandt says through the help of El'Dad Ranch he had turned things around. "We were so amazed and satisfied that we got to have a part in his life and helping him out in his biggest time of need, so that was really cool."
According to Gerbrandt, it costs about $1,000 to take a person off the street and get them back on their feet. She says Steinbach Community Outreach always accepts financial donations. On top of that, anyone wishing to donate toiletries or food would be greatly appreciated.
An open house is being planned for October 19th from 4 pm to 7 pm. A free bbq will be served and there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6 pm.