If you walked into 541 Barton St. at this very moment you would happen upon a flutter of activity. You would see that some walls have been knocked down and that new ones have been built in their place. You would see new plumbing waiting for sinks, electrical plugs waiting for coffee machines and new windows waiting to let the light in. You would see that the space at the rear of the building, which once was an apartment, has been entirely gutted.
What is not so easy to see, however, are the gruelling hours spent tearing, scrubbing, sanitizing, vacuuming, scraping, sanding, painting, patching, and preparing this space. A project of this magnitude certainly doesn’t come without its challenges and I personally have gained a new appreciation for the term ‘grunt work’. I want to say a special thanks to everyone who got their hands dirty and helped us prepare this space. We could not have done this without you.
While our to-do list seemed endless at times, we are nearing the finish line – the plans, prayers and dreams of the past few years are finally coming to fruition. As our opening approaches, I find myself dreaming more and more. I imagine sitting in the morning sunshine, drinking coffee with my neighbours on Barton Street. I anticipate the conversations, the new friendships, and the connections that will be made here. I dream of a place where people feel valued, loved and listened to. I dream of the day we can provide meaningful employment to those in need of jobs. I look forward to using our space for after-school programs for kids and community events and I’m so excited to work alongside other groups and businesses pursuing positive change in Hamilton. I hope for transformation, renewal and redemption for our city. I believe that what will happen at 541 is beyond my wildest dreams and that God’s dreams for this place are far greater than my own.
To those who have given us their talents, advice, free time, elbow grease, finances, prayers and well wishes; we want to say thank you, sincerely. Your generosity and support have encouraged us every step of the way. We invite you to be a part of this journey and to dream along with us for many years to come. This is only the beginning.