September 01, 2015


Filomeno arrived in Canada as a refugee from Angola in April 2014. After several months, he still lacked the proper paperwork to enable him to seek employment, and his housing arrangements fell through. This young man had always worked hard, and he was heartbroken at the thought of being homeless. Someone suggested that he seek shelter at The Ottawa Mission, and Filomeno has not looked back!

While staying at the shelter, Filomeno connected with our Client Services Centre, where staff helped him develop a plan for his future. His goals were clear from the start. He wanted to find a job, and he wanted to find a way to give back to his new community.

As a first step, Filomeno looked for a way to improve his English skills. We helped him to enroll in a five month course called “ESL for the Trades” and he passed with flying colours! He also joined our French Club to improve his communication skills. Finally, our staff worked with Filomeno to develop his resume, and helped him obtain his work permit.

Today, Filomeno has achieved his two goals. He is working part time as a dishwasher, and he is volunteering several times a week at another charity where he works in the garden and helps out at their food bank. He has also applied for housing and looks forward to living on his own and continuing to give back in whatever way he can.

Filomeno can’t say enough about the help he has received at The Mission. In his own words, “I am thankful for all the support in this building – you just feel as though everybody cares about you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”