Space at 205 South B.C. Ave. transferring to Christian Hope Association

LYNDEN ­— The Christian Hope Association is expanding its operations at the New Hope Center, 205 S. British Columbia Ave., with the purchase of two areas previously used by the Lynden School District.

The $310,000 sale is on track to close this month and executive director Don Kok said the organization already is pursuing plans for the new space.

The idea is to add four to six rooms, depending exactly on how the space is configured, to serve women and children in crisis or in need. It is all an expansion of the adjacent New Way Ministries program.

He said the association would also like to add educational space for various classes offered. 

“Hopefully, we’d use that for community education as well,” Kok said. “We have weekly life-skill classes, which include things like food and nutrition, parenting, financial literacy and boundaries.”

Kok said the Mount Baker Rotary Club has said it will fund part of the planned educational space after it is able to have its annual auction. 

The third thing the organization wants to do with the additional space is open up hallways that were initially closed when the building was subdivided. This whole campus was the original Christian Health Care Center of Lynden until 2001. Reopening hallways will allow everyone to work more closely and cohesively together. 

“We’ll reopen them and this would give us the freedom of movement and access to each other within the building,” Kok said. “We believe this will help the development of the community.”

New Way Ministries, the transitional housing for women and children, currently has 23 units and this expansion will bring the total to 27 or 29. 

The timetable for transforming the space is still up in the air contingent on sale closure, Kok said. The association relies significantly on volunteer labor and will have people come up with design plans. 

“We’ll evaluate what our priorities are and go from there,” he said. “It’ll be a phased-in approach. It’s a little over 5,000 square feet.”

Kok said another reason for acquiring the space was to stretch services beyond New Way Ministries residents. 

“I’m excited about how the new space will potentially be used to benefit the community,” he said. “We have organizations that provide specific classes for our residents, but it’s our desire to expand that to the broader community.”

Kok said he’s looking forward to where it’s possible to take the organization with this acquisition. 

“We’re just excited our program can grow in a number of ways through this purchase. We’re grateful to the Lynden School District for their help in this process.”

The space had been home to the school district’s Special Education and Community Transitions programs most recently. But those are moving into the repurposed former Lynden Middle School property on Main Street.