Manager of Front Line Services
The Ottawa Mission front desk is always open to people in need. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – there are always Front Line workers on the job. These men and women are the first point of contact for anyone who comes through The Mission’s doors looking for help.
Along with providing security for everyone in the shelter, Front Line workers are also trained in first aid, suicide intervention and non-violent crisis intervention techniques. They also manage the shelter bed book-ins every day and hand out towels and toiletries to the 235 residents who require them.
Mikel Tomas has been a member of the Mission’s Front Line team for more than 6 years and is now the manager to a team of 35 Front Line staff. Mikel came to work at The Mission to get more life experience after graduating from the Police Foundations Course at Algonquin College in 2002. “There are new and different challenges every day,” says Mikel, “That’s what I like about the job”.
He admits it can be discouraging some days, especially when you see the impact of mental illness and addictions on people who are homeless. “It’s hard to see people struggle and sometimes take one step forward and two steps back ,” adds Mikel “but we are always there for people who ask for help and we try to encourage them to keep going.”