A Message from our CEO/Executive Director

Dear friends of Welcome Hall Mission,

When I consider the many thousands of people who have turned to Welcome Hall Mission for help since 1892, I find myself thinking, “If only these walls could talk!” They would recount so many stories of individuals who have made tough decisions, persevered and eventually succeeded in turning their lives around. In fact, our client stories are so inspirational that we’ve decided to share them with you more regularly, so you’ll find Info Mission in your mailbox more often this year.

Did you know that we count on individual Montrealers to provide almost 80% of the cash donations that support our programs? So, although a newsletter looks different from the more traditional campaign letters that come your way, we trust that you will continue to make your online donation or send a cheque just as you have so generously done for so many years.

I want to be open about another change that you will notice in 2016. We provide approximately 200,000 meals each year to Montrealers in need and while we are keeping costs as low as possible, the average cost for a meal will rise to $3.49. My grocery bill keeps going up and I am sure yours does too—so I know you will understand that this increase is a necessary one.

As you read about changed lives and see how we put your gifts to work in 2015, I hope you understand how deeply grateful we are for your support. You are the difference for Montrealers in need.


Cyril Morgan

CEO/Executive Director

A Journey from Anger to Hope

High on cocaine and seeing double, Pete swerved his bike into an oncoming car that threw him 25 feet through the air. Doctors feared for his life, but Pete was stubborn and determined. With a lot of work, he made a full recovery, albeit with deep scars and a plastic rib cage to testify to his accident.

Born in the Gaspé as one of nineteen children, Pete was a difficult child to raise, often getting into trouble and trying his mother’s patience with his recklessness and hot-headed temper. Eventually, the family moved to Montreal and Pete got married, using alcohol to escape any challenge that life threw his way. With a lot of begging from his wife, he finally quit drinking, but the fight wasn’t over yet. In the pain of his withdrawals, he turned to cocaine and quickly became dependent.

“Whether it was sadness or guilt, Pete realized it was time for a change.”

An addict for 30 years, lying, cheating and stealing became a way of life that empowered his habit. At times he found himself living on the street, experiencing the underbelly of the city—mired in anger, fear and violence. His wife was also a drug user, and when she died of cancer in 2012, Pete lost his best friend.

Whether it was sadness or guilt, Pete realized it was time for a change. Over the years, he enrolled in numerous rehabilitation programs, but had trouble saying goodbye to drugs for good. At last, early in 2014, Pete found a program that helped teach him to face life without indulging his addictions.

Once he’d completed the program and was ready to move on, Pete turned to Welcome Hall Mission’s reinsertion program for help and guidance. It wasn’t always easy. His quick temper and cut-to-the-chase approach to life got him in trouble more than once. However, he found a caring and supportive team at the mission that was willing to give him the chances he needed to move ahead in life. Intervention workers that knew him as an addict hardly recognize the man he has become.

“Pete is happy, grateful for the support he is receiving, and looking forward to a better future.”

This past October, Pete became one of the first mission residents to graduate from the program and be placed in an apartment through Projet Logement Montréal. He is proud of his new address, loves to keep it meticulously clean and revels in the tranquility of a quiet bedroom. His welfare cheque goes directly to the program’s financial manager who ensures that his affordable rent is paid and that the remainder is returned to Pete to cover his monthly expenses.

He is starting to build a small bank balance and recently purchased a second-hand guitar, playing his favourite country western tunes to pass the time. Once or twice a week, a program intervention worker visits to ensure that Pete is staying on track and successfully meeting the new challenges of living autonomously. He receives weekly telephone calls and can contact his caseworker for needed resources or a listening ear.

Pete is happy, grateful for the support he is receiving, and looking forward to a better future. With perseverance, a desire to succeed and a strong team behind him, the odds are stacked in his favour.

Please give today to help more people like Pete.

Please give a one-time gift online today and support our annual Socks & Undies Campaign! Can you imagine wearing the same dirty, cold and wet socks day in and day out? Help us start 2016 year strong by providing desperately-needed basic support for men, women and youth living on Montreal’s streets.