Community-minded west flat church needs help

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Throughout their expansive 50,000 square-foot building, the Prince Albert Apostolic Church tries to do as much as they can for the community, pastor Ivan Brewer said.

 

Prince Albert Apostolic Church pastor Ivan Brewer is seen outside of the church at 717 McArthur Drive in the city’s west flat area. 

“We try to use as much as we can for community stuff -- that’s our goal; to get involved in our community and have our community use what we have here,” he said of the old school building the church has owned since 1999.

Renters past and present have included Ranch Ehrlo, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology, the Eagle’s Nest Youth Ranch, the Saskatchewan Penitentiary and various others.

Upstairs is a seven-room transitional housing effort the church’s staff of two including Brewer have taken on.

“Initially it was an initiative of other organizations,” Brewer explained “They funded to fix it up, and then the funding for the person to run it ran out.”

Finding a community benefit to keeping the program running, that’s exactly what the church has done, he said.

“To rent up here, you have to quit if you’re addicted to anything, you can’t be using any substances,” he said, noting that rent is kept at an affordable $325 per month.

“The whole point is, when you come here you’ve got to be actively getting a job or going to school, so we try and make it so that most of the people who come here, within a month have to have some of those lines.

“A lot of people who come in, they’re couch surfing or they’re living in the bush … It’s giving them a place to start again -- to get back on their feet again and to get going.”

Thursday sees the church of about 100 members host a weekly giveaway of day-old bread from Safeway, during which between 12 and 40 people benefit.

Although the church does even more, Brewer said that they’re “always looking for more renters and things that we can do for the community.”

While they try to do as much as they can for the community, the west-flat area church needs something back.

The heavy snowfall of two winters ago has damaged a section of their roof to the point where it needs replacement.

“Before that we had some minor stuff and we’d patch it and it’d be alright for a while, but now it’s got to a place where it’s not so patchable anymore,” Brewer explained.

The initial repair job quote came in at about $100,000, although a subsequent idea -- installing a slanted metal roof over the existing flat roof -- might prove less expensive with volunteer help.

Throughout July, the church will be selling $20 steak dinner tickets that can be redeemed at any time during the month at Humpty’s Restaurant, with proceeds going toward the roof effort.

A small committee of dedicated volunteers is looking at various other fundraiser efforts, Brewer said, noting that they’ve already managed to raise about $8,500 toward the project.

For tickets, stop by the church office at 717 McArthur Drive, or phone the church at 306-764-9075.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology, Saskatchewan Penitentiary, Safeway

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