You might say the Salvation Army has gone underground, considering its new location in the basement below Darcy’s Pub in Langford.
Although the Salvation Army Connections Point Church and Resource Centre opened at #103-737 Goldstream Ave. in April, getting the word out about its new location in a space that once was home to a nightclub and an indoor mini-golf course has been a challenge, said Salvation Army Corps officer Capt. Stefan Reid.
“Not a lot of folks know we’re here,” he said. However, the organization has a historic connection to Langford under a name people may be more familiar with.
“Connection Point Church used to be called Westsong when we were at Spencer Middle School for about 15 years,” Reid said.
“We wanted to make more of an impact on the community regarding our resources, social footprint and offer more ways to provide help and hope to people in need,” he said of the move to the expansive new location.
“It feels fantastic to (be able to) meet the needs of young people, families and seniors. We want people on the West Shore and in Sooke to know no matter what assistance they need, we’re here to help.”
The centre has a large play area for younger children and offers children and youth services under the guidance of children and family services worker Melissa Paul.
Among the centre’s various services is the Pathway of Hope, under the administration of caseworker Leila Dobson. It provides support for people battling addictions and mental health issues, and is open to anyone who’s struggling, Reid said.
The Red Cap program, teaching kids age seven to 12 how to establish healthy emotional boundaries, will be offered in some West Shore schools starting in September, she said. “We also have a youth group for teenagers to have a safe place to hang out and we’ll be offering tutoring in September as well.”
The Women’s Ministry provides a place for women to socialize, do crafts and connect with others.
The spacious new chapel, open every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., has a laid-back feel and welcoming decor.
The Play Cafe for parents or guardians of children up to age 5 is a safe place for kids to play and provides a sense of belonging and community, Reid said.
Members of a men’s group called God’s Grunts perform services such as gardening, landscaping for seniors and assist with completing projects.
“We work closely with the West Shore RCMP and local fire departments to provide emergency support,” Reid added. “We also provide emergency food support by working closely with the Goldstream Food Bank. If people need assistance, we’re here for them.”
A back-to-school initiative has temporarily taken over the multipurpose room, where stacks of binders, note pads, markers, pens, crayons and other items are ready to be handed out to families in need.
“We have enough supplies for 75 kits so far, but could use more,” Reid added. Anyone interested in donating new items or funds can do so at the office from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays. The office is by appointment only on Mondays.
Reid and his wife, Capt. Tinishia Reid, are the corps officers while Patrick Humble is the community ministry director.
Visit saconnectionpoint.ca/ for more information.