The former loading dock was converted into a new and well lit accessible entrance, featuring a large awning that provides shelter and protection from the busy street. The first floor houses The Crib, The Night Ministry’s overnight shelter for young adults, ages 18 to 24, and includes a 21-bed sleeping room, serving kitchen, administrative offices for the shelter’s staff, meeting rooms, and multipurpose programming spaces for dining, social services, job assistance and social activities. The programme includes a colourful and dynamic interior mural that spans the multipurpose area and is expected to be continued throughout the upper two floors. This is created by another local nonprofit, Marwen, a collaboration facilitated by Joy Meek, Principal at Wheeler Kearns Architects.
A place for refuge and recovery, The Crib provides an oasis for security, independence, and safety for young adults facing adversity. Carefully thought out in collaboration with The Night Ministry team, the design aims to ensure visitors feel safe and secure. Glass doors and windows are used throughout the public areas, creating visibility and openness that helps alleviate feelings of stress and helplessness and builds trust. Meeting rooms and offices face outwards towards the street and park, with natural light filtering through interior clerestory windows into the central multipurpose and dining room. Corridor space is reduced to further promote feelings of emotional and physical safety. Quieter spaces, such as the sleeping room, showers, and restrooms, are positioned near the back to maximise privacy.
The second and third floors are the new administrative HQ for the Central Administration Outreach and Health Ministry Program, where open offices are connected by a new central communicating staircase. This is large enough to accommodate employees and volunteers, including staff who primarily work offsite, such as the health outreach and street medicine teams, improving organisational culture, connection, and quality of services. Support spaces provide varying levels of privacy and gathering, including individual phone booths, small meeting rooms, workrooms and a large conference room that can hold all-staff and full board meetings.