A ‘NEIGHBOURHOOD Celebration’ brought in people from the local community when His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of The Netherlands opened ‘De Noordkaap’ [‘The North Cape’], a new Salvation Army facility in Amsterdam. The 13-storey former office building has been refurbished into what is now the largest Salvation Army centre in The Netherlands.
What makes ‘De Noordkaap’ an extraordinary place is the combination of multiple forms of professional healthcare and social work. It offers assisted living to former clients from homeless shelters and also families in crisis situations. All residents have their own apartments so they can be guided to becoming more independent. A ground-floor community centre and a second-hand clothing store ensure that the facility is also a resource for the local community. Among numerous activities already launched are a scouting group and a children’s choir.
For the opening celebrations, the parking area was transformed into a festival site with live music, exhibitions, food and activities for all ages. Nothing, however, drew more attention than the King, as he moved around talking to clients, volunteers, employees and neighbours after having performed the official opening of this unique expression of Salvation Army ministry.
Even after the King departed, the celebrations continued for a few hours. The influence of ‘De Noordkaap’ will stretch into the foreseeable future, as it becomes a place through which hope and support are offered in the name of Jesus.