THE BRIDGE – Linking Faith with Community
In 2009 Port Hardy Christian Fellowship had a big dream of creating a ministry center that could have a positive impact on the whole town of Port Hardy. To accomplish this, we purchased the Thunderbird Inn and renovated and renamed it Providence Place Inn.
Providence Place Inn was more than just a hotel. We ran a housing program focused on seniors and disabled that at its peak had 32 residents. We ran a youth emergency housing pilot program in partnership with Vancouver Island Health Authority and the Mt Waddington Regional District. We also partnered with the Red Cross, local First Nations communities and the public at large with in-crisis housing. We provided safe spaces for individuals and families escaping abusive or dangerous situations, flooding, mold, and fires etc. During our ten years at Providence, we offered benevolent housing to those in need in excess of $100,000.00.
We ran a youth drop-in center and program for the duration of our time at Providence. Our goal was to bring hope and direction through healthy activities to students and young people in Port Hardy.
In the last 3 years we fed over 7500 free hot breakfasts during our Saturday Breakfast Club program. This was available for people from all ages and all walks of life.
We also partnered with the Salvation Army to provide a facility for the wet shelter and their own pilot project, the Sobering and Assessment Centre.
Providence Place Inn was also a hub for those looking for a hot cup of coffee, a listening ear, and a safe place to connect. To that end, we were also able to assist and advocate for those applying for social programs, disability funding, rehabilitation and addictions recovery centers.
Throughout all of this, we operated a 49-room hotel that serviced local visitors and guests from overseas, employing many residents of Port Hardy in a wide variety of roles.
On October 1st 2019 our dream for that facility sadly ended when due to economic pressure we had to sell our building. Thus, we began a new chapter for Port Hardy Christian Fellowship. We see all around us that the world is changing and so in response is the shape of our ministry and church.
Let me introduce you to THE BRIDGE - “Linking Faith with Community”
In the past, we at PHCF have been a part of many community initiatives including the Chamber of Commerce, North Island Tourism Board, Filomi Days activities, the Halloween Fireworks, The North Island Music Fest as well as organizing clean ups and Pitch In days, just to name a few. We are committed to continue to be part of our community in those ways but as we move forward we are also looking toward new ways to benefit Port Hardy.
The Bridge is a storefront location in downtown Port Hardy and will be the site of our new operations.
We desire to be a place and people where individuals can access faith and values in a safe and welcoming environment.
Previously, we at Port Hardy Christian Fellowship had focused on facilitating housing and food programs.
Now, we are moving toward building a space to create and celebrate community for the people and families of the North Island.
Our new location is going to offer a coffee lounge with a certified kitchen, an office and a multipurpose room, and a venue with a stage. This will give us flexibility to provide a variety of activities for young people and the young-at-heart. This includes daytime Parents and Tots times, evening coffee socials, dry dances, board game nights, summer day camps for kids, and more.
We will continue to offer pastoral and marriage counselling as well as our regular Sunday church services. Our goal is to have kids and young people as central figures in our efforts to create and build community. The Bridge loves families!
We are excited about growing in this direction and we look forward to finding new and effective ways to benefit Port Hardy and the North Island. We are inviting you to partner with us both in the building phase and subsequent operations of The Bridge, through our Go Fund Me page. We believe that we can make a positive impact in the lives of the people in Port Hardy and beyond and so we invite you to give generously to help us achieve that goal. We appreciate all of your support in this venture and we thank you for partnering with us here at The Bridge.
The Bridge Staff and Members
formerly, Port Hardy Christian Fellowship