We believe God cares for everyone, and because of this, Jesus calls us to be His hands and feet, caring for people in need. At CSC, we care for people by providing food, clothing, skills training, community and life change opportunities for those who seek deeper connection and purpose.
That’s what our Compassionate Ministry (soon to be Centre for the City) is all about.
You can support this cause by providing donations of food or funds to the Calgary Food Bank or the Centre Street Church at Central Campus East Entrance.
We expanded our food distribution programs to include prepared meals, so we can feed more people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 including seniors, new Canadians, individuals or families facing layoffs, or with low or limited income, families with young children, and individuals with medical conditions, mental health challenges and limited access to support.
We currently have three food distribution programs in which agencies and individuals can participate:
These are provided to assist partners and agencies in the meeting of food needs for their clients. Any agency working with people struggling with food insecurity can apply by emailing:
Hampers are provided as a depot of the Calgary Food Bank and registration can be done through them by phoning 403-253-2055. If you are referring clients to the Emergency Food Hamper Program visit: www.calgaryfoodbank.com/2020/referral-agencies/ . The church also provides hampers to people in need who may not be eligible to register through Calgary Food Bank.
or call 403 293 3900.
Location: our food bank operates out of4021 Centre Street NE-North Doors. (Wing Kei Village)
Food bank hours: Monday and Wednesday 6-730pm and Tuesday and Thursday 10-1130am
Box lunches are also distributed at 4021 Centre Street (NE-North Doors), Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-730pm. These lunches are available for anyone who is in need. Registration is not required and drop-ins are welcomed.
People come to CSC’s Compassionate Ministries to receive short-term relief for basic needs and a sense of love and community. For those that wish to pursue a journey of deeper life change we work with them to build a larger plan of action that all integrates multiple dimensions of well being… skill development, job readiness, emotional and mental health, community, belonging and purpose.
Note: many of our programs have been temporarily suspended during COVID-19. Please see our section on COVID-19 Food Ministry and Program Eligibility.
Specifically designed for building connection with people in deep poverty, Monday night drop-ins and monthly meals provide a space for people to use the food bank or clothing bank and then come into our café, ‘The Well,’ to enjoy a hot drink, some games, and a listening ear.
Launched by CSC in 2013 NCFC has a mission to come alongside new Canadians, offering them the support they need to transition smoothly to their new lives. NCFC offers ESL classes, sewing class, conversation classes, knitting group and opportunities to drop in for community connection at the café. Learn more at ncfcentre.com.
While our ministry provides support to those living in poverty, we also seek to help in ways that promote sustainability to people in need. The Career Connection Network (CCN) offers resources such as budgeting, resume writing help and job search skills to help people explore job opportunities in the city. Some are now finding employment, where previously they were without work for months or years.
Each week food gatherings and ministries serve as potential doorways for life change as we make connections and book appointments to support emergency needs and address a desire to move beyond the “band-aid” solutions and address the deeper issues behind cycles of poverty.
Step One: An initial assessment allows volunteers to provide short term relief for people’s practical needs. First steps are an opportunity to demonstrate more care and concern for the deeper issues.
Step Two: Volunteers use a Life Budget approach to gain greater understanding of each person’s needs (financial, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual) so they can create an action plan to support each ‘friend’ or ‘neighbour’ more deeply and connect them to a supportive community.
Step Three: (Compassionate Friends Program): In this program, CSC congregation members are matched with individuals in an intentional friendship and mentoring relationship as they follow their Life Budget action plan.
We’ve seen a growing number of people coming with diagnosed or non-diagnosed mental health issues. Knowing CSC needed to be more intentional and equipped to serve people with mental health challenges, a collaborative partnership was established with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).
We have since expanded partnerships with other organizations and people, offering expertise to walk closely with those struggling with mental health issues. This includes working with the ‘Calgary Scope Society,’ which has offered training to CSC leadership in identifying particular types of mental illnesses, and engaging with the appropriate community supports, including City of Calgary social workers and area agencies.
We are expanding our ministry to marginalized communities including the ever-growing immigrant population and those in cycles of poverty.
We want to build stronger bridges between CSC, established and new partners, concerned Calgarians and people in need. We envision the Centre for the City to become a hub for mission work, serving all our campuses, ministries and the greater needs of Calgary.
Most common among churches, the benevolence model meant that when people came to the church seeking help, we reactively provided food and resources on a case by case basis. Food drives and mission work to feed the homeless were common throughout CSC history.
Led by Pastor Ashwin Ramani, the NCFC is launched to walk alongside new Canadians, offering them the support they need to navigate a new culture, new climate, foreign language, social isolation, job security and other challenges.
More people come to CSC seeking help for their physical needs, especially food. Church leaders pray for guidance. “God shifted my thinking. We didn’t need a strategy. We needed a miracle. I prayed for mana from heaven,” says Pastor Brad Friesen.
Calgary Food Bank comes to CSC inviting us into a partnership. “We’ll provide the food if you provide the space,” they say. Pastor Brad says, “we’re in.”
The compassionate approach is a proactive and strategic outreach model. It addresses the many dimensions that contribute to cycles of poverty - the physical, mental, emotional, community and spiritual needs of the whole person. People in need come to CSC to receive short-term relief for basic needs, before being brought into a larger plan of action called a ‘Life Budget’ or ‘Life Journey.’
West Campus is sold to Chinese Christian Wing Kei Nursing Home Association. Sale proceeds are slated to fund the expansion of Central Campus to address growing demand for space for Compassionate Ministries among other CSC ministries.
Compassionate Ministries launches Monday evening drop-in ministries, including: ‘The Well’ café, food bank, clothing bank, skills training and other classes to help people in poverty move forward in their lives.
CSC launches its journey to build Northwest Campus and to expand Central Campus to increase ministry opportunities to marginalized people groups and to accommodate the growing needs of Calgarians and other ministry programs.
Compassionate Friends program pilot is launched.
Program connects people in the Life Budget program with mentors from the congregation, providing additional community, friendship and support
Compassionate Ministries launches Monthly Community Meals.
Compassionate Ministries distributes 2,493 hampers and serves 1535 Monthly Community Meals. An average of 70 people per week come to ‘The Well’ café to find true community. 52 people are connected into our Career Connection Network. 200 people go through the Life Journey process to experience deeper life change.
The need for food increases among Calgarians as thousands of additional families experience layoffs.
We receive grants from the province’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund. Our capacity to provide even more food is increased through to March 2021.
Our lunchbox and hot meals program is launched to serve more people struggling in the face of COVID-19.
This is a time to proclaim our trust in God and love our neighbours.
For those seeking help or desiring to bless people during COVID-19, we are here for you!
Also please keep checking our website to receive updates on how we are continuing to help in this time or email or fill out the form below.