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October 6, 2022
The Prince Rupert Port Authority’s (PRPA) Community Investment Fund has partnered once again with the Friendship House Association of Prince Rupert (FHAPR) to enhance safety, security, and accessibility for staff and the thousands of clients who visit the Friendship House each year. This latest project overhauled the more than 60-year-old building’s second floor and is part of a multi-stage modernization effort designed to ensure FHAPR can continue its legacy as an essential cultural, educational, recreational, and health hub for North Coast communities.
After working together to complete a new community kitchen in 2019 and full lobby restoration on the first floor of the facility in 2021, FHAPR and PRPA shifted focus to the main stairwell and second story. This part of the building is home to several key programs and services, and includes the Culture Room, staff kitchen, computer lab used for employment and skills training, administrative offices, and childcare areas that host parent and tot groups. With new electrical infrastructure, lighting, windows, drywall, and flooring throughout, these important spaces are now safer, brighter, and more accessible for all users. A large digital screen has also been installed in the hallway, displaying the day’s schedule and other important notices. The total cost of the project was $253,660, with PRPA contributing $126,830.
“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.”
FHAPR is part of a nationwide network of Friendship Centres, and has been serving the North Coast since 1958, providing 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.
“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, Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We are committed to supporting these restoration efforts so that the Friendship House remains a pillar of the community for generations to come.”
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