Don and Marlene Horkey and Julie McFarlane (standing) are offering free coffee and tea at a drop-in offered at the Building 272 in Aldergrove.

Drop in for free coffee, pastry and socializing

Centrepoint Community members are inviting the public to drop by Building 272 for free coffee or tea and a bit of socializing.

Centrepoint Community members are inviting the public to drop by Building 272 for free coffee or tea and a bit of socializing.

Building 272, owned and operated by Len Murdoch, offers a variety of outreach programs in the community. These include the ongoing free dinners on Wednesday and Saturday and the Friday night barbecues, as well as the Mom’s Time program every Friday morning from 10 to 11:45 a.m.

The drop-in cafe is a new project, offered by Don and Marlene Horkey and Julie McFarlane.

“We’ve been volunteering for five years now with Centrepoint and the coffee shop is something new we thought we’d try,” says Don.

“We’re hoping to open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m., starting April 7, just before Easter.”

His wife Marlene says, “Anyone is welcome to come in and sit, out of the rain, and it’s all complimentary. Meet your neighbours, have a coffee and muffin, and enjoy some company.”

Building 272 used to host drop-ins for adolescents and teens through agencies such as Aldergrove Neighbourhood Services, but these programs have moved elsewhere. Thus, Centrepoint has opening slots for programs such as the coffee house.

The programs are run by churches in the community, such as Christ Covenant, Ridgeview Baptist and Canadian Reformed. These programs include the free dinners on Wednesday evenings and the Bible lesson and meal on Saturdays.

The Aldergrove Lutheran Church also brings a soup kitchen to Building 272 every third Saturday of the month, starting about noon.

The Friday night barbecues begin in the summer, and are held outside the storefront.

Up to 40 guests attend the free dinners at Building 272.

“A lot of the people are low-income, but it’s not a druggie hangout,” says Don. “It’s a good way to get to know the people here.”

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