February 13, 2018


A welder by trade, Joel turned to The Ottawa Mission because he was unemployed, couldn’t find a job, and had nowhere to live. He has since been working with our client services team who are helping him develop a good resume and navigate job opportunities, and his search is well underway. But he still needs our support – and he knows that, thanks to your generosity, our doors will be open for as long as it takes for him to get back on his feet.

In the meantime, something magical has happened in Joel’s life thanks to a program managed by The Mission called Discovery University (Discovery U).

Discovery U allows people who are homeless or living on a low income to participate in non-credit, university-level Humanities and Social Sciences courses at no cost. Thanks to a partnership between The Mission, University of Ottawa, Saint Paul University, Carleton University and First Baptist Church, the courses are taught by university professors and all textbooks and course materials are provided at no cost to the students.

Joel had what he calls a “dormant passion” for photography, so when he found out about a10-week Digital Photography course at Discovery U, he jumped at the chance to take part. This past December, Joel graduated with great praise from his instructors, some of his work has already been published, and it’s also proudly on display at The Mission!

As Joel says, “Discovery U has given me the gift of self-confidence, and I am more determined than ever to find a full time job and to further my education in photography at the college level.” Joel has found hope for a much better future, and we are confident that his dreams can come true. Good luck Joel!