The Mustard Seed is joining forces with another Edmonton social service agency located in Old Strathcona – The Neighbour Centre – in an effort to do more for the people who need it most.
“The decision to merge was an easy one,” says Managing Director Dean Kurpjuweit. “The Mustard Seed and The Neighbour Centre are a natural pairing. Both organizations share a similar mission and vision to help men and women who are experiencing poverty and homelessness in Edmonton, and we now serve people on both sides of the river.
Since 2013, The Neighbour Centre has been the only adult-serving organization on the south side of Edmonton that provides basic services such as food, clothing, and health supports to members of the community in need. The Mustard Seed. located on the north side of the river, has been serving the the inner-city community for nearly 30 years.
The benefits of the merger will provide community participants with more access to programs and services available from both organizations, more volunteer opportunities, and shared infrastructure (staff, IT, accounting, HR and facilities), which will be more cost effective.
Mustard Seed Highlights:
- The Mustard Seed serves 280-350 meals six nights a week at the 96th Street church building.
- More than 7,000 food hampers are distributed every year through the Food Depot.
- Over 5,000 items of clothing are provided to approximately 1,000 individuals each month.
- Every year, we refer more than 1,3000 men and women to housing, employment and financial resources.
- Affordable housing is provided to 20 people who were considered chronically homeless, at the Westwood Manor.
Neighour Centre Highlights:
- Every year, The Neighbour Centre provides showers for more than 2,900 neighbours.
- Over 2,000 items of clothing are provided to men and women in need every month.
- Last year, more than 14,600 meals were served through the Dinner Club program
- The Neighbour Centre provides free foot care to approximately 260 neighbours every year.
- The Open Door provides mentorship, support groups, and aid to more than 120 current and former inmates annually.
New developments within the inner-city of Edmonton, such as the new downtown arena called Rogers Place, has resulted in many community participants who are experiencing poverty and homelessness to be pushed out to new areas that may not have as many essential resources available.
“There has become a greater awareness of the migration of this population to other parts of the city. One the most notable has been the increase of homelessness in the Old Strathcona area.” says Mustard Seed Director of Programs Kris Knutson (former Executive Director of The Neighbour Centre).
As the need for support in other parts of Edmonton continues to grow, The Mustard Seed continues to respond in unique ways to reach those who need it most. Merging with The Neighbour Centre is one of the ways we are doing this.