SAINT JOHN– A funeral home in the city centre is taking on a new role in the community it’s been an integral part of since 1887.
Brenan’s Funeral Homes announced Tuesday that its Fitzpatrick’s Funeral Home on Waterloo Street will cease operations and become the Outflow Centre For Training & Employment as a part of Outflow Ministry Inc.– a faith-based ministry serving vulnerable people in Saint John, particularly in the Waterloo Village neighbourhood and the city’s central core.
The Fitzpatrick building will become home to Catapult Industry Inc., a successful social enterprise construction company created by Outflow, that provides employment opportunities for people with employment barriers.
The building will be known as ” The Fitzpatrick’s Building” to honour the funeral home’s legacy. Outflow co-founder Jayme Hall said the charity’s plans for the building will carry on the Fitzpatrick legacy of community service.
“When we had conversations about this property, it was really that, leaving something in the hands of a charity that could really be innovative and take it to the next step,” said Hall.
“We’re super excited about that and excited about the potential and working with other community groups here to really bring hope to people on the streets of Waterloo.”
Hall says a carpentry workshop is planned for the building’s basement for the spring.
“We’re going to be putting a workshop in and having some guys coming in and working,” he said. “Particularly young people in their 20s that might be on the fringes and have a few issues. We’d like to help them out and get some carpenters working with young guys and girls and get them employed.”
Fitzpatrick’s Funeral Home is the longest-serving funeral home location in Saint John. After 131 years, Brenan’s president Stephen MacMackin says the building is no longer well suited for a funeral home. He says Brenan’s has the capacity to serve all of their customers from their other three locations in the Greater Saint John area.
“There’s been a lot of changes in funeral service,” said MacMackin. “Obviously, parking and access to the facilities is very important today. The community has shifted around to where people live, so we just felt that at this time it made sense to close this facility and consolidate it with our other locations.”
MacMackin says those who have arrangements already in place at Fitzpatrick’s can carry out their plans at any of the other Brenan’s locations. He said records are secure and detailed information on the change is already on the way to everyone with pre-funded arrangements on file.