Food, Clothing & Shelter
We provide an average of 1300 meals per 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 Line staff is well trained in first aid, non-violent crisis intervention & security matters. As well, they are in charge of the daily shelter room book-in and handing out basic toiletries to residents, and so much more.
In 2015, an average of 231 men were sheltered by The Ottawa Mission every night – close to a 100 percent occupancy rate. 1,696 different people stayed at The Mission last year and the average length of stay with us was 44 days.
We also served an average of 1,300 meals a day last year, and more than double that during a special holiday meal. That’s a total of close to 474, 500 meals a year. Some of the food we serve is donated, but we have to purchase a lot 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 met with one of our housing diversion workers. At our Client Services Centre, he had access to a computer and phone. Jack quickly achieved his goal and after just 25 days in the shelter, he was back at work, able to support himself, and living in his own apartment.