What are friends for? Usually they are there to give advice, offer support, laugh with, talk with and navigate the trickier aspects of life. Calgary’s immigrants, temporary workers and international students are in need of all of those things and even more so because they are away from their usual support network.
The recently opened New Canadian Friendship Centre in Northeast Calgary fills that gap by offering a friendly place for anyone in need to drop in and spend some time.
Among its services are:
- Homework help. Volunteers help children in grades one through 12 with their schoolwork on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
- Teen hangout. Teens have access to a room with video games, ping ping and foosball.
- Clothing. There is a room with gently used clothing available for the taking.
- Forms. Filling out paperwork confuses the best of us. The centre will help fill out forms and even help complete tax returns.
- Referrals. When the centre can’t help, it will guide people to other agencies that can.
- Conversational English. Drop-in chats in the cafe or registered conversation are both offered.
- Pronunciation. The Institute of Accent Modification helps finesse language skills further.
- Career mentoring. The centre will connect you with people to coach you through your job prospects.
- Family friends. The centre will also match your family with another to help create friendships.
The $400,000 annual operating costs of the New Canadian Friendship Centre is paid by Centre Street Church. The centre is run by three staff members and an army of more than 200 volunteers.
5401 Temple Dr. N.E., 587-390-0770, ncfcentre.com