Welcome Inn Community Centre 40 Wood Street East
I had the opportunity to take a tour of Welcome Inn Community Centre in the North End. I chose to donate the proceeds from my birthday show to their food bank and while I was there, I was happy to learn more about all they offer the community.
Welcome Inn Community Centre of Hamilton is a special place in the heart of Hamilton’s North End. Here people are welcomed, celebrated and empowered to give as well as receive. Since 1966, the poverty of loneliness and exclusion has been overcome with friendship and compassion. At Welcome Inn, we practice community as a two-way street; join in learning and contributing to build inclusive and resilient community! – via Welcome Inn
Executive Director Carly Gaylor gave me a tour of the space and we had a chat about all of the services Welcome Inn provides. Carly began as a volunteer while she was a student at McMaster, and she fell in love with the place. She expressed a great passion for the organization and the work they do.
Along with their food bank, Welcome Inn offers children’s programs (I had a peek at the colourful kids’ activity room), business courses (bizPLAN), workshops for financial education (savingsPLAN), fitness sessions, seniors gatherings and social activities, youth drop-ins, and more. They also have a thrift shop on the property, which does a great service to the community.
I love the inclusive mantra of Welcome Inn and you can feel the homey, warm atmosphere right from stepping through the door. The building was once a church and the large sanctuary is where they run their food bank three times a week. It’s a bright, welcoming room, with stained glass windows and a high ceiling.
I was also able to meet Kerry Turcotte, the PLAN Program Coordinator who does a great job running their social media, and Gladys Flores, the Children’s Programs Coordinator.
On my way out, a piece of artwork at the top of the stairs caught my attention. Kerry told me it was created by a child in their Adventures In Art program and showed me a few more pieces. “Inspire Yourself” – I love it!
Be on the lookout for Welcome Inn’s Big White Truck (although it may not be all that white, after everyone has finished painting it!) during Art Crawl where they accept food donations. Non-perishable food items can also be dropped off at Needlework (174 James N) during Art Crawl.
Welcome Inn’s food bank runs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11:30-2pm. They’re always in need of volunteers – if interested, don’t hesitate to reach out! Many volunteer opportunities are available. They would love to hear from you and, well, welcome you in!