COVID 19: NHYC is adapting – like the rest of us! – to its new reality and legal framework. They are closed until restrictions are lifted, yet continue to connect with youth through their Facebook page.
Hope Story is proud to announce a brand-new partnership with New Hope Fellowship Church in Thunder Bay. New Hope was established 20 years ago to serve as a spiritual refuge for First Nations youth in a city that is a hub for education and healthcare for tiny reserve communities in Northern Ontario. The Church’s constitution requires that a majority of their leadership be of First Nations heritage. In other words, this is an outreach for First Nations, by First Nations.
Ten years ago the Church founded New Hope Youth Centre (NHYC) with a vision to “empower youth in reaching their full potential while discovering Christ.” To this day NHYC is Thunder Bay’s only youth drop-in centre, and is run entirely by volunteers. A majority of the kids who attend NHYC are of First Nations descent.
During a recent Hope Story visit, about 12 kids filter through the century-old storefront and mingle with volunteers – eating pizza, playing video games, shooting pool. Normal stuff for a high school youth group. But these kids don’t live ‘normal’ lives. Many hail from small communities in northern Ontario, where addiction to glue sniffing and gas huffing is commonplace, and where suicide rates are off the charts. They come to Thunder Bay for high school, and most live with strangers. It’s a tough city, especially for youth who struggled even before their arrival.
Today NHYC is open just one night per week. The Church longs to open the drop-in centre every weeknight- to give indigenous youth a safe place to hang out, encounter loving community, and experience healing. Hope Story is currently fundraising to help the Centre fund a full-time staff member - and make this dream a reality.
Since the start of 2020, churches in Guelph and Orillia – as well as a few individuals – have agreed to partner with us in this initiative. New Hope Church has even interviewed a couple who are interested in the position!
Please pray for additional partners – individuals and churches – who can enable this important ministry to flourish. Sign up to receive regular prayer requests.