Food, Clothing & Shelter
More than 1,200 meals a day, 235 beds, and hundreds of items of clothing
When The Ottawa Mission opened its doors in 1906, it was a place where homeless men could come to eat, sleep and get a change of clothing. We still provide these basic necessities, and this is no small task.
Our Front Desk is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year. It is the first point of contact for men seeking shelter and services. Our Front Desk staff is trained in first aid, security and suicide intervention. As well, they are in charge of the daily room book-in and handing out basic toiletries to residents, and so much more.
In 2012, an average of 228 men used The Ottawa Mission for shelter every night. We had an occupancy rate of 97 percent. 1,968 different people stayed at The Mission last year and the average length of stay with us was 48 days.
We also served an average of 1,270 meals a day last year, and more than double that during a special holiday meal. That’s a total of close to 465,000 meals a year. A lot of the food we serve is donated, but we still have to purchase some in bulk to meet the growing demand.
In our clothing room volunteers helps us organize and distribute hundreds of items of donated clothing each month. Clean, respectable clothing means so much – it allows people to face the prospect of a job interview, for example, with dignity and confidence.
At The Ottawa Mission, what begins as a meal, a place to sleep and a change of clothing often turns into a life-changing experience.
The success of our programs is reflected in the success of those we serve.
Just ask Jack.
Jack had always worked, but after unexpectedly losing his job and running out of money, and with no family to help out, he found himself on the streets. He came to The Ottawa Mission and was welcomed with open arms.
He immediately made it his goal to find employment and housing, and with the support of our housing outreach staff, and with access to a computer and phone at our client services centre, Jack quickly achieved his goal. After just 15 days in the shelter, he was back at work, able to support himself, and living in his own apartment.