Grassroots Kind Hearts has been serving dinner downtown behind the fire hall to whoever needs it, but they will be moving inside Radiant Life Church through the end of April after council decided to fund the opening of the church for two hours per night for up to five months. Mirror File Photo

Grassroots Kind Hearts to move inside for a while

City will fund Radiant Life Church to open its doors two hours per night

Grassroots Kind Hearts has been looking for a place out of the elements to serve their nightly dinners to the less fortunate for a long time.

But this week, during the city’s deliberations on next year’s budget, council decided to fund the Radiant Life Church “up to $10,000” to open their doors to host the group inside through the end of April.

The agreement comes after council received a request from pastor Art Van Holst of Radiant Life Nov. 28 saying they would like to host the group inside their facility downtown but financial constraints make it impossible.

Led by founding director Krisandra Rufus, the Grassroots Kind Hearts dinner program has been serving meals to people in need since spring 2015. During the winter of 2015-16, the society had temporary access to serve dinner from the Radiant Life Church.

While council was discussing the use of some of their annual contingency budget on Monday during financial planning, Coun. Ron Kerr suggested they look at also using some of that money to support the church in hosting the nightly dinners.

“They’ve been delivering dinners for the last number of years feeding, on average, upwards of 50 persons nightly, and that’s men, women and children,” Kerr said. “Last winter, they served dinner outside in the snow, the rain, the wind, outdoors and this year, Radiant Life has offered to open their facility.”

The city will pay Radiant Life $62.50 per night to open their doors for the Grassroots dinners. Should they open every night for five months, as is the plan, it would cost the city $9,687.50.

Coun. Larry Samson asked if this amount was to fund the dinner program, as well, but was informed it was simply for the use of the church for two hours per night – from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The financial support from the city will come from the portion of unspent 2017 contingency fund money being carried over into 2018 and will therefore have no direct impact on the current budget deliberations.

“Since spring 2016, the city has been supporting this important social program by providing secure access next to the downtown fire hall as well as portable washroom facilities and waste services,” Mayor Andy Adams said in a release after budget deliberations ended Monday. “During this time, the city has continued to explore possible options for a dinner program location with Island Health and a number of local social service providers and arranged meetings with other agencies to help the society find a more suitable location.

“With colder, wetter weather, the move to a well-equipped indoor location will be most welcome for the people who come for meals as well as for the people setting up and serving dinner,” Adams continued. “We appreciate the cooperative agreement that sees Grassroots Kind Hearts supplying meal service, Radiant Life Church providing an indoor location and the city covering costs of using the building.”

Just Posted

Strathcona Regional District looking at pay hikes for board members

The Strathcona Regional District board is planning on a pay raise. At… Continue reading

City still fighting for long-term plan for Snowden

Another letter from the province without ‘tangible response’ spurs mayor to request in-person meeting

Willow Point Summer Market back for third go-round

Now accepting applications for ‘anything and everything,’ but specifically in need of entertainers

Carihi fly fishers earn invite to National Championship

10 students will travel to Maple Ridge next month, but they need your help to get there

Storm sweeps Saanich in semifinals

Despite starting well after the other semi-final series, the Storm now has to wait….

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read