Also known as Anamiewiummig “House of Prayer”
“The Kenora Fellowship Centre is a place for people facing homelessness and poverty to feel safe. The Fellowship Centre is a part of the National Native Ministry Council. Although we don’t only serve the First nations population we serve the homeless, those living in poverty, working poor, seniors, and people living with physical and mental disabilities of all ages.
We believe that each person has a chance to heal themselves, and each person has a story to be told.”
Situated on the Traditional Territory of Treaty Three Anishinaabe Nation, The Kenora Fellowship Centre has been a PCC ministry since 1967. Originally a place for families to stay when visiting their children at Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School, when the school closed in 1976. KFC became a gathering place for former residential school students and other First Nations people. It became a place for Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons facing poverty and homelessness – residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors, those affected by the 60’s scoop, and teens ageing out of the welfare system. The drop-in centre offers meals, transitional and room-and-board housing, laundry, showers, public washrooms, and a safe place. Patrons have many kinds of pain and challenges – intergenerational impact of residential school, addictions and substance abuse, mental health issues, homelessness and poverty, and discrimination. Premature death is common. The centre keeps a Memorial Wall where the news of the death of a patron is shared and the memory of that person is honoured. Their mission statement: “to clothe the naked, help the helpless, feed the hungry, love the unloved, guide the lost.
The needs can be overwhelming – cash to run programs and provide services and repair or upgrade equipment, staff training for dealing with the complex needs that present, just having enough staff and volunteers to do the work, staff dealing with their own stresses and the lack of resources. KFC counts on funding from PCC Presbyterians Sharing, community partners and churches, and individual donations. Covid has been hard on them, especially with the high temperatures of this past summer and the extra expenses for PPE and extra cleaning. They were deemed an essential service so they could stay open while many other community services were closed.