Vision & Mission
To be a movement motivated by radical love where youth at risk have the opportunity to become healthy individuals with connected families in hope filled communities.
Bridge diverse communities. Break down barriers. Broaden perspectives.
Build opportunities. Find belonging.
Mackie’s Place was born out of two women’s lives that had been transformed by the radical love of God. That love compelled this story.
In 2014, Bobbi-Rhea and Favian were sitting together in Favian’s home dreaming of how they could support young people in our city. They chatted about injustice and the tragedies that so many young people are facing in our own backyard. This was the evening after Bobbi-Rhea had watched a 20/20 episode featuring Urban Promise, an organization in Camden, New Jersey which she had interned with as a young women. Urban Promise is committed to loving and equipping kids, youth, and their families in the inner-city. For many years, Bobbi-Rhea would watch the annual feature on the organization and weep, knowing that one day she wanted to be back on the ground seeking change for the at-risk community. Likewise, Favian had a vision for at-risk youth in our city and had begun drafting a plan. Her vision was a youth hub that would be a platform for an idea that she had long been brewing in her heart.
This idea would bridge families from diverse communities to walk together, encouraging both parties to grow, be challenged, and ultimately transformed. From that day forward, the heart of Mackie’s Place began.
When it came time for choosing a name, they started by considering, “If I was a youth, where would I want to tell people I was headed?” There’s a youth hub in Los Angeles called “My Friend’s Place”; they loved the idea of kids being able to say something casual about where they were headed. They started by throwing around last names and found that Mackie just happened to have a great sound to it. It also just happens to be Bobbi-Rhea’s last name; so, it seemed that it just kind of a fit. Little did they know when they named it, that God was about to really make the Mackie’s home the beginning of it all. Over the next 2 years, God brought a single mom in dire straits and an infant baby girl to the Mackie family. This became the training ground for everyone, as they had the privilege of watching God transform two families as they walked side by side.
We believe that an effective program is built on effective leaders. For us, this includes both staff and volunteers. This is why we hire inspired, confident, and committed staff who are passionate about walking with youth on a daily basis. We hope to make staff feel cared for, appreciated, and well-equipped through training opportunities, remuneration, and a display of confidence in their responsibilities. We also offer individuals, couples, and families the opportunity to be a part of positive change in the lives of youth by simply showing up and spending time with them. We believe that everyone has something to offer our youth, and we hope to facilitate an environment in which members of the community feel confident to share their life stories, skills, and wisdom. Our hope is that lasting relationships will be formed at Mackie’s Place and continue outside the hub for years to come.
The Chef Skills program was established by Chef Jay Martel shortly after Mackie’s Place opened. In this program, youth learn valuable culinary skills which can be put to use in both professional settings and at home. Youth in this program put their skills to work in preparing the meals served in our Mackie's Pie Co. bistro. The Chef Skills program equips youth with the skills necessary for obtaining employment in restaurant kitchens.
The Barista Skills program was the first job skill program that Mackie’s Place offered. With access to a full commercial coffee shop in our building, youth are able to learn professional barista skills such as making specialty drinks, cleaning and maintaining our espresso machine, and serving customers. The Barista Skills program equips youth with the skills necessary for obtaining employment in other coffee shops in our community.
The Entrepreneurship Program began as a small youth-centred business called e.SCENT.ials by Mackie’s, which makes handmade natural bath and beauty products. In this program, youth learn valuable business skills such as product creation, marketing, and finances. The Entrepreneurship program equips youth with a wide variety of skills that can be applied to employment in retail, business, marketing, and beyond.
The Cleaning Crew is the latest addition to our job skills programs! In this program, youth work together to clean and maintain our facilities. Being a part of the Cleaning Crew equips youth with valuable employment skills such as attention-to-detail, commitment, and time-management, and opens doors to further their abilities in other job skills programs.
THE FOUR PILLARS
We believe that our youth have so much potential and our hope is to provide opportunities to have that potential realized. We seek to provide youth with life skills, emotional support, and encouraging relationships so that they may flourish as well- equipped and well-rounded young people! Through involvement in one of our four Job Skills, we equip youth with employable skills; these skills are also developed through simple activities such as goal setting, resume writing, and academic support. Youth are provided with incentives for their participation and service; in exchange for working in one of the Job Skills programs or helping with a task in the hub, youth are provided with bus passes or gift cards. Those that display sufficient skill and dedication are also provided with the opportunity to be hired as Youth Employees and earn a paycheck. Both the Job Skills programs and Youth Employment provide resume building opportunities which will, in turn, assist the youth in securing a job outside of Mackie’s Place.
We believe that having the community engaged and walking with at-risk youth in our city is how we will stimulate lasting change. Our hub is designed for members of the community to come and spend time with youth in a safe and non-intimidating environment; doing homework, playing games, and working on a job skill are all opportunities for building relationships! These relationships will diversify the scope of the world and the people with whom the youth do life with regularly, offering alternative ideas, experiences, and guidance.
We believe that community, friendship, and family are built around food. Sharing a meal brings people together, providing opportunity to engage in conversation and build relationships. When we serve food, we believe that it should be good quality, nourishing, and delicious! Every day, youth are met with healthy snacks to enjoy as they engage in activities. Our Chef Skills program also prepares nourishing and delicious lunches and dinners to be shared with youth, volunteers, and staff.
"There is something fundamental about sharing a meal; it is more than food, it is people coming together in the most basic human experience, to share a space where divisions can drop away, and the light of our common humanity shine through."
Bruce Reith, Hope Mission
Executive Director / Co-Founder
Bobbi-Rhea is wife to Aaron and mother to two young men, Isaiah and Harrison. Her heart for the inner-city began when she was 19 and visited Camden, New Jersey; here, she worked with Urban Promise loving and supporting children and youth at-risk. Upon returning home, Bobbi-Rhea took her love for children and put it in action by entering the Early Childhood Education Program at University of the Fraser Valley. Later, she continued her education and became a certified education assistant; this began her career in supporting children and youth on the autism spectrum. Bobbi-Rhea has since worked as a behavior interventionist, a supervisor for the Infant Development Program at NONA Child Development Center, and an applied behavioral analysis support worker with the Surrey School Board.
In 2012, Bobbi-Rhea left the school board to begin homeschooling her own son. It was then that she felt a renewed calling to once again work with children and youth in the inner-city. Appropriately nicknamed "Hummingbird", Bobbi-Rhea is a unique go-getter. You will find Bobbi-Rhea smiling when she is cooking in her kitchen, feasting with family and friends, hosting a gathering for someone she loves, or reaching out to support children and families who need some extra love.
Director of Care / Co-Founder
Favian is wife to Ben and a mother of three. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a certificate in law and justice from Laurentian University, and a family counselling certificate from the Justice Institute. She worked with youth and families in Surrey in Social Services for 12 years and has also volunteered in numerous places in our community, including and adult learning centre and the RCMP’s Restorative Justice Program.
Favian is passionate about seeing people transformed and is committed to being part of building and supporting our community. Favian is compelled to love, especially those who are in need of a friend; she will be the first person to welcome a stranger and she encourages everyone she encounters. She has an incredible ability to build relationships with anyone, especially those on the margins. She is bold, compassionate, and exudes an exceptional love for Jesus, people, and her city!
Gemma Stobbe – Operations Manager
Gavin Johnston – Culinary Director
Jaana Wiebe – Entrepreneurial Program Manager
Gabriella Shury – Marketing & Media
Adrienne Alkema – Kitchen Supervisor
Amanda Budd – Baker/Kitchen Shift Leader
Raisa Monteiro Wilson – Administrative Assistant
Emily Hilton – Youth Worker
Alex Paish – Youth Worker
Preston Wong – Youth Worker
Jamieson Ree – Youth Worker
Lavinia Totan – Youth Worker
And so many volunteers that we couldn’t do without!