Renovations have begun at Red Deer’s Mustard Seed to update and refresh its main entryway.
Building manager Matt Schroeder said work started on Monday at the main entrance, facing 54th Avenue, to replace the flooring, walls, stairs and banisters to improve the space to welcome clients, donors and volunteers.
“It’s been many years since it’s been updated. We just felt like this was a really good opportunity to make it a really inviting space, and a warm space, for people to come and know that this place is safe, and they’re welcome to come here,” Schroeder said.
Mustard Seed runs a 46-bed sober shelter, soup kitchen and health centre, at 6002 54th Ave., in Riverside Meadows.
The entrance will be closed for the next two weeks, but the south entrance off 60th Street open.
Schroeder said the update follows a refresh to the main dining room earlier this year where walls received a new coat of paint and floors were buffed and polished.
On Wednesday an industrial washer and dryer were to be installed.
“We found with washing blankets, towels and sheets every night, that our residential units couldn’t keep up. We were having to repair them a lot. So we were able to get them replaced with some heavy-duty units.”
He said activity at the Mustard Seed is back up to pre-COVID levels.
“Our shelter is probably about three-quarters full every night. Our meal services are pretty packed.”
And soon the school lunch program will welcome volunteers. About 425 students at 48 schools in central Alberta receive a healthy and nutritious lunch through the program.
“We’re still asking for volunteers to come help out. We appreciate every minute and every hour that they can be here.”
Schroeder said donations are gratefully accepted. Bottled water donations really helped out during recent heat waves. Another donation clients can use is new underwear for men and women.
“That’s kind of our biggest need that we’re often running out of.”