A Message from Our CEO/Executive Director

The fall season is an exciting and busy one at the Mission!

The past few months have seen our Family Service clients get their children ready for school, learn how to best support their academic success, discover new employment avenues and provide their families with nutritious food from Marché Bon Accueil. Men and women in our intervention and accompaniment programs have committed to responsible and healthy lifestyle changes, are being trained by professionals in our skill acquisition programs and are moving off the streets into permanent housing in the community.

On the volunteer front, we have seen unprecedented numbers of generous Montrealers donate their time and talent to staffing regular positions in our Marché and at our emergency shelter, working side-by-side with Mission team members. Thank you also to our donors! We respect your investment and trust, and remain committed to using your funds effectively.

As you read this edition of Info Mission, I hope you will experience feelings of joy, knowing that your gifts have made our work possible.

Thank you!

Samuel Watts

CEO/Executive Director

Melchor’s Story

Melchor grew up in the Philippines on a farm. While his parents cared for the livestock and crops, he looked after his four siblings. Mel finished high school, got married, then he and his wife, Alicia, followed his mother to live in Spain.

In Spain, Mel began working in restaurants. The stress, long hours and restaurant culture sent him down a destructive path of using cocaine, crystal meth and gambling.

Eventually Mel and Alicia moved to Montreal. He continued to work in restaurants, and continued to use drugs. The drug use took its toll and Mel suffered a life-threatening seizure. After an emergency surgery, he was hospitalized for two months. To support her husband, Alicia gave up their apartment, moved in with her mother-in-law and urged Mel to get help.

When Mel was discharged, he checked into a rehabilitation facility and started a 28-day program. He enjoyed the atmosphere and felt supported, but as soon as he graduated, he went straight out to find a dealer.

"At Welcome Hall Mission, Mel enjoyed the non-judgmental support of intervention workers."

Alicia took him to a Montreal hospital where a team of social workers directed him back to rehab. This time, Mel had a breakthrough, and realized how much was at stake—he had three grown children, two grandsons, and a patient, loving wife. He decided to do the work and make the tough decisions needed to start over.

This time, after rehab his social worker suggested he try the Residence Bon Accueil Rehabilitation Program at Welcome Hall Mission. That began 18 of the best months of his life. Mel enjoyed the non-judgmental support of intervention workers and for the first time, he felt he might be strong enough to turn his life around.

Mel’s faith was also renewed during his time at the Mission. He found comfort in reading the Bible. His wife’s name, Alicia, means noble. One of his favourites verses is from Proverbs 31 that says, “A wife of noble character is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her…”         

Mel and Alicia are now living together in a new apartment. Mel is thrilled to be living autonomously again and is determined to continue to make healthy choices. Both Mel and Alicia are grateful to the Mission and its encouraging community for helping Mel to get his life back on track.

Thank you for supporting Mel and others like him. What a difference your generosity makes!  

Please give today to help more Montrealers!

Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

So much thought goes into the services we provide to impact people. We are now putting the same thoughtfulness into how we impact our environment!

Until recently, we did not have a system in place to handle food waste—and we generate plenty by distributing 880,000 kg of food per year through our free grocery store and serving 230,000 meals!

We have now launched a composting program to prevent large amounts of matter from ending up in landfills. At our multi-service centre alone, almost 3,000 kg of waste is being composted each month.

Lots of fresh food means lots of cardboard packaging. Until now, cardboard was sent out for recycling. Between pick-ups, however, it took up precious storage space and created obstacles for warehouse staff. Thanks to a new baler, cardboard can be compacted into a single bale. Volumes can be decreased by up to 90 percent, meaning fewer pickups and a smaller carbon footprint for the 3,500 kg of cardboard we process every month.

"We’re excited about these changes. After taking care of people for 126 years, now we are doing a better job of taking care of the environment too, thanks to supporters like you!"

Quick Facts

880,000 kg of food is distributed each year through meals and our free grocery store.
Our new composting program means 3,000 kg of food waste is kept out of landfills each month.
Our new baler means 3,500 kg of cardboard is now being processed on site each month.

Please give today to help us continue serving families in need.

A Growing Partnership with Home Depot

Giving back to the community is part of Home Depot Canada’s DNA, and the St-Henri retail outlet is committed to the work of Welcome Hall Mission. Our growing friendship is having a significant impact on youth homelessness prevention by supporting renovation and repair projects to facilities that provide vulnerable youth access to support services.

In September, the street outside our Youth Services on Beaudry took on an orange glow as over 50 Home Depot employees contributed their time to provide much-needed renovations and repairs to our Youth Services building.

“I am really proud of my team’s enthusiasm and support for Welcome Hall Mission,” said store manager Jean-Michel Martin. “Over the past year, we have had lots of opportunities to lend a hand  We believe in taking care of each other and working together to help the Mission.”

Thank you Home Depot!

Every December, Welcome Hall Mission transforms into a winter wonderland. Our annual toy giveaway, Noël pour tous, kicks off the month by providing top-quality toys to struggling families.

Our free grocery store, the Marché de Noël provides a festive shopping experience as we work hard to provide families with fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, and non-perishable goods—and everyone gets a turkey!

At the men’s emergency shelter, we serve a turkey dinner and community groups provide gifts and personal items to men who sometimes have a hard time finding blessings to count.

Thank you for making the holiday season bright for thousands of Montrealers!

Looking Forward to the Holidays