Wellness through Friendship at Jacob's Well

Jacob's Well is a faith-based non-profit organization located in the DTES of Vancouver. We seek mutually transformative friendship with those on the margins of society and equip others to do the same in their own context.

Organizer: Yolanda Bonkowski

Type Of Group: Religion

Location: Vancouver, BC


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The Group's Purpose

This group exists to support the work of Jacob’s Well. Jacob’s Well is a community of about 35 people of all ages, from all over the Lower Mainland, from different denominations and backgrounds. We all commit to spending part of our week in our storefront space - having coffee, cooking and baking together, sharing music and art, having conversations, organizing outings, visiting people in their homes - all with the goal of building friendships across socioeconomic, racial, and religious divides. We have seen God use these long-term friendships to bring deep transformation, support, and reconciliation in our own lives and in the lives of our DTES friends, many of whom struggle with mental health and addictions. Over 14 years, Jacob’s Well has become a place of belonging and hospitality, and a community in which to learn to practice love and compassion.

Charities this Group Supports:

How to Help

We are asking for finances to sustain the work at Jacob's Well. Donations will go towards paying for rent and hydro, stocking our pantry, paying our small staff team, and funding weekly events. If you are interested in getting involved on a volunteer basis, please let us know. We do ask that you commit one weekly time slot for at least a year to really get to know our friends.

About the Organizers

We are a community made up of three part-time staff, five board members and about thirty volunteers. Beth Malena, Alberto Jaramillo, and Yolanda Bonkowski are the current part-time staff at Jacob's Well. Beth offers her pastoral care and musical talent, Alberto fixes and maintains just about everything around the Well, and Yolanda encourages others in making art. We seek out the goodness and giftedness in our friends and try to hone in on the passions they can share with us.