A new community resource centre, coordinating social services in Summerland, will open later this month, providing access to information and services for those in need.
John Bubb of Summerland United Church, who has worked with the project, said it will not be an additional social service for the community.
“We’re providing information and space for professionals to use,” he said.
“The only direct service we provide is the food bank.”
Mary Ellen Thompson, administrative assistant at the centre, said the service is one of advocacy for those in need and coordinating information about the various social services which are available.
“If they’re having problems, this could be a good place to start,” she said.
The renovation work to the church’s basement includes a main reception area, office space and an expanded food bank.
Bubb said the community has been supportive of the centre.
“Everyone thinks it’s a great idea,” he said.
The larger food bank space enables the food bank to assist a growing number of people.
Last year, 390 people used the food bank, up from 361 a year earlier.
While the facility provides information and resources for those in need, it is not accessible to those in wheelchairs.
Bubb said funding for an elevator or wheelchair lift was turned down when the construction grants were sought last year.
The space for an elevator is ready, but the cost of the structure and the elevator is estimated to cost at least $50,000.
“We need a rich benefactor for the elevator,” he said. “We’re hoping the community will see this as important enough to support.”
The official opening of the centre is on Tuesday, May 28 from 4 to 6 p.m., with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m.