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A local funeral home is about to take on an entirely new role in serving the neighbourhood it has been a part of since 1887. Stephen MacMackin, President of Brenan's Funeral Homes today announced that one of the firm's four Greater Saint John locations will be handed over to a respected local charity to become a centre for social enterprise, skills development, work readiness programs and other services.

Effective February 28, 2018 Fitzpatrick's Funeral Home on Waterloo Street will cease operations as a funeral home and become the Outflow Centre For Training & Employment as a part of Outflow Ministry Inc. The Fitzpatrick building will become home to, among others, Catapult Industry Inc., a successful social enterprise construction company, created by Outflow, that provides employment opportunities for people with employment barriers.

In a statement, Mr. MacMackin said that the Waterloo Street building - the longest serving funeral home location in the city - is not as well suited to its current role as it once was and that Brenan's has the capacity to serve all of their customers from their other three locations.

"We value the Fitzpatrick's business and the legacy it has in the community," said MacMackin,"and we didn't take this decision lightly. After much consideration, we decided that the building was coming to the end of its useful life as a funeral home but, after talking with Outflow and looking at what they have accomplished, we recognized that 100 Waterloo Street had a more important role to play and a greater need to address in the revitalization of Waterloo Village.

"So, today, my brother Bill and I, on behalf of our family and our employees, are very happy to announce that we are donating the Fitzpatrick building to Outflow Ministry. We are convinced that Jayme Hall and his team at Outflow will ensure that this building will go on serving and helping this community for many more years and we are proud to support their efforts in making our city a better place, with a better future for everyone.

"In a nod to the Fitzpatrick family and their long and dedicated service to the community and the funeral profession, it was announced that the building will retain the Fitzpatrick name. A plaque bearing the name and acknowledging the donation was unveiled during a news conference.

Outflow Ministry Inc. is a faith-based, Christian ministry serving the uptown area of Saint John, particularly in the Waterloo Village neighbourhood, but also other areas of the central core. Launched in 2008, Outflow became a registered charity in 2009 and today operates the city's only homeless mens' shelter, serves 600 suppers each week to anyone who needs a meal, operates a housing program to assist those in their shelter or on the streets, and offers other programs in addition to Catapult Industry Inc.

Jayme Hall, the co-founder and executive director of Outflow Ministry, welcomed the donation, expressing appreciation and reflecting on what the group hopes to accomplish with the property. "With the space that this building will provide to us and our partners, we will be able to help people improve their lives and to position ourselves as a key piece in the plans for neighbourhood improvement in the Waterloo Village." Outflow has already identified a number of potential opportunities, working with community partners, to take advantage of the facility, and is actively looking for other ways to capitalize on the additional space now available to them.

Mr. MacMackin concluded his statement with an assurance that those who may have arrangements already in place at Fitzpatrick's need not worry, their records are secure and their plans can be carried out at any of the other Brenan's locations. Detailed information on the change is already on the way to everyone with pre-funded arrangements on file, he says. The Fitzpatrick's location has been a part of Brenan's since Hugh E. Fitzpatrick retired and sold the business more than six years ago.


Outflow Ministry Inc. is excited to announce the Outflow Centre for Training and Employment. The focus of the centre will be to help people acquire the skills and opportunity to work, while maintaining a vibrant and beautiful space on Waterloo Street. Outflow is grateful for the trust and generosity demonstrated by Bill and Stephen MacMackin in the gift of this building. We will honour the legacy of this space by using it in a way that maintains its focus on serving the community.

Outflow served its first community meal in King Square in 2008. Since that time our focus has been having real and committed relationships with the people that we serve. We want to help them to flourish. The Outflow Centre for Training and Employment will help us to do this in two ways. First, we will be able to provide people who have employment barriers with an opportunity to work. Second, we will be able to provide skills development training programs for people who are looking for an opportunity to enter the workforce but know that they are not quite ready to do so yet. In both cases, we will walk alongside people to help them grow and develop not only as employees but also as people.

Outflow is excited to work with others in the community to turn the goals and dreams we have for the Outflow Centre for Training and Employment into a reality. Creating our skills-development program requires support from many partners. We look forward to continuing to draw on the expertise and knowledge of others in the community as we move forward. Their help will be a vital piece of the centre's success.

The Outflow Centre for Training and Employment will include a workshop, space for our social enterprise Catapult Industry Inc., classrooms, and meeting space. We are excited for the opportunity that this building gives us to further develop our social enterprise and employment programs. While the goal of the centre is focused on people, we understand the significance of the building gifted to us. It will continue to be a vibrant, attractive, and valued piece of the Waterloo Village because we see its importance as our neighbourhood continues to grow into a place of dignity, life, and hope. We look forward to continuing the legacy of this building while writing the next chapter in its story.