The Friendship House Association’s 60-year-old plus building is sparkling new inside, thanks partly to $126,830 from the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA).
In an announcement on Oct. 7, the PRPA shared details of the recent renovations to the Friendship House’s second floor.
“The Friendship House of Prince Rupert plays a pivotal role here on the North Coast, providing people of all ages a welcoming place to nourish their bodies, hearts, and minds, as well as challenge themselves to learn new skills and passions,” said Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of the PRPA.
“We are committed to supporting these restoration efforts so that the Friendship House remains a pillar of the community for generations to come.”
The PRPA helped cover some of the $253,660 upgrade cost through their Community Investment Fund.
The second floor of the Friendship building houses the culture room, staff kitchen, computer lab used for employment and skills training, administrative offices and child care areas for parent and tot programs.
These important spaces are now safer, brighter and more accessible for all users, after seeing new electrical infrastructure, lighting, windows, drywall and flooring.
They also installed a screen in the main hallway showing the day’s schedule and important notices.
“In 2021, we had over 150,000 points of service and the number of clients is continuously growing,” said Anna Zanella, executive director of the Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert,
“The support of the Community Investment Fund has enabled us to continue to enhance our programs and improve the experiences for the thousands of people we reach each year.”
In 2019 the PRPA helped the Friendship House build a new community kitchen and in 2021, the Port supported them in restoring the first-floor lobby.
The PRPA’s Community Investment Fund has spent more than $15 million in support of more than 95 projects in the surrounding communities.
The Friendship House Association is part of a nationwide network of Friendship Centres, and has been serving the North Coast since 1958. It provides educational, cultural, health, and recreational programs with an emphasis on assisting Indigenous people in an urban setting. In addition to serving Prince Rupert, FHAPR supports several surrounding communities including Port Edward, Metlakatla, Gitxaala, Lax Kw’alaams, Txalgiu (Hartley Bay), and Haida Gwaii through more than 30 programs and services.
Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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