Kitchen reno for organization helping Saskatoon's homeless: Renovation funded by the federal government through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy

Reported by Trelle Burdeniuk, NewTalk 650 CKOM September 25, 2013 - Standing in the new kitchen at the Central Urban Metis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) in Saskatoon, Shirley Isbister, president of the organization, said this renovation has done more than just update the room."It's kind of a way where you can break down the barriers, when you're having a meal together and just sit and chat and see what's up. People get more comfortable to talk about the real challenges that they're having in their life," she said.The federal government gave over $128,000 for this renovation through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy which will give $119 million this year to programs aimed at reducing homelessness and helping those at risk.

Isbister said this renovation means they can more easily feed people who need a meal, but also expand the catering side of the organization. CUMFI caters events and uses the money raised to buy food for the kitchen.

Isbister said the people they've helped recently have loved the new kitchen. "The first thing they say is, 'Oh it's so bright,' she explained. "It was darker in here, the walls have been lightened up, the cupboards are white and they were a dark colour before."

In the past year, CUMFI has helped over 4,000 people and Isbister estimates they feed at least 50 people a week.

"In the home I was raised in, in the home that we have, any one walks in, the first place you are is at the kitchen table and you're having tea and you're just having a conversation. That's what we want it to be like, so it's a comfortable, safe environment for people."

For more information on CUMFI or to have them cater an event, visit their website.

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