Ottawa – On February 25, 2013, The Salvation Army celebrated the official opening of its newly renovated Bethany Hope Centre at 820 Woodroffe Avenue.
“We were delighted to welcome the community to visit our new centre and learn about all the programs and services it has to offer,” said Major Brenda Smith, Executive Director at The Bethany Hope Centre.
The Bethany Hope Centre provides programs that care for pregnant and parenting youth and their children through addressing their physical, material, social, educational and spiritual needs. In addition to the programs offered at the centre, the building functions as a Salvation Army Church and houses administrative offices.
The Bethany Hope Centre was originally located at 1140 Wellington Street from 1924 until 2013. Upgrades to the Wellington Street building would have been costly and at the new location the Army is able to better serve families efficiently and holistically.
“There is a need for this type of community service in Ottawa’s West End,” continues Smith,”and the location is convenient for our clients, who for the most part, rely on public transportation.”
The Woodroffe Ave building project spanned over several years at a cost of $4.75 million. It is spacious and has large windows. It provides more room for the centre’s programs and services including education and employment support, health services, meals, playgroups, childcare, a food bank, housing support and parent support group meetings, counselling and life skills programs.
Shona Woodland is a graduate of the parenting program at The Bethany Hope Centre and after attending university, now works for the federal government. She came to the Centre looking for support after learning she was pregnant. She spoke at the opening.
“When I found Bethany I almost didn’t make it up the front steps, but when I got inside I was welcomed with warm arms,” said Shona. “The people here quickly became my family and friends and I wasn’t judged or ridiculed.”
Shona attributes her success to the care and support from the staff at The Bethany Hope Centre and wanted to give back in some way. She has set up a scholarship fund for others at Bethany who would like to pursue post-secondary education.