Helping homeless people get on their feet
Our Mission & Service grants for community ministries like Bissell Centre’s Outreach Housing Team offers hope for a safer, more prosperous future to many people like Joe. Joe had been living on the streets when he first moved to Edmonton to be closer to his children. His first visit to Bissell Centre was for a shower and clean clothing. Afterward, he found a group of people sleeping under a gazebo together, using an electric blanket covered by a tarp to keep warm at night. “We slept under there, huddled together, just hoping to wake up in the morning,” he said.
But after being robbed and left to freeze one night, Joe needed to make a change. Bissell Centre’s support workers helped him find an affordable apartment and piece his life back together. “There were some nights when I wasn’t sure if I’d survive. If it wasn’t for Bissell Centre, I’d probably have frozen out there,” he says. “But now, I’m okay. I have my kids and family back, and I have a lot of support. And I have a beautiful home to call my own.” He has a job, and he volunteers at the Centre to give back to the community. None of this would have been possible without Mission & Service.
With additional support from Gifts with Vision, over 45 people housed through Bissell Centre’s Outreach Housing Team were given a gift when they moved into new housing last year; items such as pots and pans, utensils, and linens made them feel more at home. Funds were also used to purchase bus tickets to help people get to apartment viewings, secure new identification, or obtain a criminal record check.
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.
Find out more about what the United Church and our partners are doing around issues related to poverty.