• 1JustCity

The Heart of the Home

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

Home can mean a lot of things. Your home is safe. Your home is secure. Your home is likely centred around the kitchen with your family. Home is a place to be yourself, to grow, and to build a strong sense of community. For many of Winnipeg’s underloved, 1JustCity’s St Matthew’s Maryland is that for so many. Our home is safe. Our home is secure. And a large part of our home is the kitchen.

In late 2017 the kitchen of our St. Matthews Maryland was renovated. The remodel has allowed more people to participate in the programming. The health and safety regulations have increased with the drop-in involvement. These changes have helped instil a sense of pride for all the community members who call the space home.

For a member like Larry, 1JustCity is his home. Larry began participating late last year and was proud when the kitchen was complete.

“Wow, this is for us?” he said in disbelief to Minister Josh after seeing the completed kitchen renovation.

“It allows for our members to feel respected, cared for, and ultimately lets them feel special. Folks felt so special on the first day we opened back up,” expressed Minister Josh. “People are just blown away and in complete awe that this space is for them. Some members of our community often-express feelings of degradation, disrespect, and feel overlooked. But this kitchen renovation is more than a renovation; it acknowledges their worth and lets our members know that they are worth something.”

On four of seven days, the St. Matthews/Maryland church opens its doors to community members. The drop-in is the core of the program but there are other opportunities, such as the cultural outreach, art classes, and poetry readings.

Imagine working in a space where your basic needs weren’t being met? The St. Matthews/Maryland kitchen space feeds a surplus of 60-100 community members 4 days of the week. The kitchen is the heart of almost every home. We eat in them and share countless hours in them: talking, eating, sharing, and connecting. we rely on their accountability, durability, and the multi-purpose uses of them. The kitchen renovation completed at St. Matthews/Maryland earlier this year was a real game changer for its community members. Like any kitchen, it gives us a safe space where we can invent, share, and repurpose ourselves and the food we create.

At the root of it all, 1JustCity is more than a centre for resources, it is a space (home) built on the foundations of creating and connecting Winnipeg communities and the underloved. The two words: community and family define the St. Matthews/Maryland United Church.

For many, the kitchen is the heart of the home. A simple cup of coffee has the power to bring people together. That is exactly what we hope to do here at 1JustCity—bring people and the community together. The St. Matthews Maryland kitchen renovations have helped us do just that. Create a community and family for members of the St. Matthews Maryland neighbourhood.