It’s hard to believe that we have officially reached 20 years of sharing love, hope and purpose with our community. From humble beginnings during a snow storm, serving PB&J’s and praying over sleeping bodies at the Gentle Shepherd Church emergency shelter, to where we are today…
To our dedicated network of support, both past and present, thank you for supporting us, the little ministry that could.
Each week, we are adding more to the stories highlighted below. Those with a red year have a blog post you can click through to!
Gentle Shepherd Church, Whalley, BC
NightShift’s humble beginnings in a dank and cold little church in Whalley. The Gentle Shepherd became an overnight shelter for the duration of a snowstorm in January 2004. It provided a place of comfort, solace, kindness and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for people living on the street.
Bentley Field, Whalley, BC
After losing use of the Gentle Shepherd Church, NightShift was displaced. Responding to the needs of the people we met at the emergency weather shelter, NightShift began serving a hot meal from the old Bentley Field. This is where hot meal outreach became part of our DNA.
NightShift’s First Home
In 2006, NightShift moved into its first official office and outreach space at 10753 City Parkway. The building needed some sprucing up, and among the many helping hands, was NightShift’s dear friend from the street, Denis, who rolled up his sleeves and helped paint the exterior.
NightShift quickly became a special place of interdenominational Christian faith and service. Folks from dozens of churches in Surrey and beyond have come together over the years. Pictured here, a vision-casting and prayer lunch with some of our church community pastors.
Welcome to Sisters Thrift Boutique
NightShift’s first social enterprise, Sisters Thrift Boutique, opens its doors to the community. Sisters offered affordable thrifted clothing, from casual to designer threads, to shoppers, and an opportunity for community members to learn skills. It ran for 10 years at three locations.
Fundraising at NightShift
Fundraising comes hand-in-hand with running a non-profit organization. NightShift’s two big annual fundraisers, Golf and Gala, bring in almost half our annual revenues. Here, Mac stands alongside NightShift’s late friend, Denis, sharing about NightShift at our 2009 Gala, at Northview Golf Club.
NightShift’s New Home on the Boulevard
A new chapter begins as NightShift makes an exciting move into its current home at 10635 King George Boulevard. With renos and general sprucing up, our new home features offices, kitchen, warehouse and a large room for educational programs, services and socializing.
Care Bus Launch at NightShift
NightShift’s Care Bus rolls into our outreach lot in Surrey. This special bus broke down barriers people on the street face accessing health care. A renovated RV, the Care Bus provided crisis counselling and street-level nursing, from health care professionals to vulnerable people in the Whalley neighbourhood.
The story of NightShift just couldn’t be contained. Founder and President MaryAnne Connor (Mac) writes and publishes “The Shift”, the story of how NightShift came to be. From sleepless nights to God’s nudging; from opposition to God’s humble victories; from us and them to “we”, sharing love, hope and purpose.
Worship at Surrey Outreach
Who doesn’t love a little dinner music? Worship music shifts the atmosphere toward hope. Here, longtime NightShift supporter and volunteer, Andy Park, brings worship music to the crowd during the nightly outreach meal. Andy and others are still providing worship music today.
Afternoon Art Class
NightShift’s Art Class, where fun and creativity meet healing and recovery. Created by NightShift volunteer and professional counsellor, Maggie Callander, friends from the street are invited to explore an art supply closet of colour and imagination, and let the resulting creations amplify their voices beyond words.
Baptisms in the Warehouse
The Wednesday night bible study group at NightShift has the honour of baptizing a new brother in Christ. Alpha, church service, bible study and regular prayer groups have all been offered alongside our outreach and care programs over the years.
Volunteer and Leadership Training
A volunteer-based organization, NightShift is honoured and humbled by the thousands of people who have served with us. “Badged” volunteers are at the core of NightShift’s outreach, with FORGE Leadership Training further equipping volunteers to connect with people in need and to lead well with compassion.
Taste of Heaven Launch
NightShift expands its reach with the Taste of Heaven (TOH) food truck. Launched as a social enterprise with a dual purpose, the TOH brings funds and awareness to NightShift through catering special events, while it was also a serving vehicle for hot meals to people in need.
RE/ACT comes to NightShift
NightShift welcomes the RE/ACT program to the ministry. This life-changing three-month program dives into recovery education for addictions and complex trauma. With teaching, one-on-one coaching, group work and a hot lunch, the wonderful RE/ACT team helps folks on the recovery journey find freedom and hope.
NightShift’s 15th Birthday
NightShift celebrates 15 years of love, hope and purpose with a huge community birthday party in our Surrey outreach lot. It was a dream-party, bringing together NightShift volunteers, donors, board members, supporters, staff and friends on the street. We love it when we all eat at the same table!
All are Welcome
While many doors closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, NightShift opened a door. Our Welcome Centre opened to bring people inside for a coffee and connection when it was needed most. Despite physical distancing restrictions, we felt the bonds of community. It remains a hub of social activity today. Hugs allowed.
Medical Outreach Unit (MOU) Launch
The MOU launches, replacing NightShift’s old Care Bus. The vehicle launches to deliver nursing and counselling care to people in need in both Surrey and Langley. After fundraising and fabrication, the MOU features two patient rooms, and an outreach space for clothing, care kits and more.
Holidays with Friends
NightShift’s friend, Gord, smiles as he enjoys a hot turkey dinner and all the fixings at our sit-down Christmas Dinner, back in 2022. Special holiday dinners (including Easter and Thanksgiving) are a big deal at NightShift, when we welcome our community to music, gifts and a feast fit for a family.
Officer in Charge Award
NightShift receives the Officer in Charge Award from the Surrey RCMP, recognizing outstanding commitment to caring for the marginalized community in Surrey. “NightShift’s approach to alleviate poverty and homelessness and offer hope and a sense of purpose for people in the Whalley area, has an incredible social utility,” shared Cpl. Scotty Schumann.