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For many of the people who stay with us at The Ottawa Mission, or who come in for meals, family takes on a whole new meaning.

John suffered for years from mental illness and addiction. His family had long ago given up on him when he came to us looking for help. That was more than five years ago. While he stayed with us, John received treatment for his addiction and medical support for his mental issues. He is now back living in the community, but he remains an important part of our family at The Mission – visiting us on a regular basis, and offering support and encouragement to others who are suffering. John knows he is always welcome here.

Fern lives alone in a small subsidized apartment and has been coming to The Mission for meals and to attend Chapel services for more than 20 years. Despite often being in pain because of severe arthritis, Fern makes the effort to visit us almost every day. He is always a bright light for us, and everyone here knows his name. We are like family to Fern, and we feel the same way about him.

So, while many of those we serve may not have families in the traditional sense, we work hard to make sure that anyone who comes to The Mission feels special, welcome and respected – and it is our hope that people like John and Fern feel like every day is family day.

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