Through the COVID-19 crisis, Welcome Hall Mission has met the needs of Montrealers experiencing homelessness and poverty by becoming increasingly flexible and creative in how we deliver programs and services. And our talented staff have been outstanding in their response to emerging needs.

Early in the pandemic, Welcome Hall Mission worked closely with the city and health care network (CIUSSS Centre-Sud) to establish temporary emergency facilities. Thanks to this coordinated response, few people experiencing homelessness have tested positive.

Even so, COVID-19 has exposed a humanitarian crisis in our own backyard. In response, we’re reimagining the Ross Pavilion of the old Royal Victoria Hospital as a 24/7 Welcome Center, where people experiencing homelessness can stay while our teams help them find supported housing.

The pandemic also exposed a hunger crisis. But your generosity is making a difference. Donors like you have helped 1,400 new clients access free groceries at our Marché locations. In total, there’s 13,400 Montrealers who won’t go hungry, all thanks to you!

Your help, generosity, and support are deeply appreciated.

Samuel Watts

CEO/Executive Director

Mario’s Story of Healing Continues

You wouldn’t know it by looking at him, but addiction had consumed Mario for most of his life. His reliance on drugs quickly drained him of everything he had, and it wasn’t long before he ended up living on the street.

The time came when Mario knew that he couldn’t go on living like this, and he became determined to regain control of his life. So he joined a detox program.

Mario was so proud of himself for getting sober, but after he left the rehab facility his fear of relapse grew. Without a strong network of friends and family, he didn’t know where to find ongoing support for his addiction.

That all changed when he walked through our doors.

“From my very first meal at Welcome Hall Mission, I felt like I was surrounded by family.” – Mario

Mario was greeted by an intervention worker named Catherine, who was dedicated to his recovery.

“Catherine didn’t hesitate to guide me to the dining room and bring me a warm plate of food,” says Mario. “From my very first meal at Welcome Hall Mission, I felt like family surrounded me. I finally believed I’d met people who weren’t going to give up on me.”

Mario knows that his road to full recovery is not going to be easy. He expects setbacks, but he finds comfort in the fact that the Mission will be there to catch him if he falls.

“I know I’ll have to keep working at sobriety for the rest of my life. It’s hard work, but the alternative is miserable,” says Mario.

Recently, Mario took a big step towards regaining control of his life. Thanks to your generous gifts, Mario was able to find permanent housing through our housing initiative, Projet Logement Montréal. This initiative is shared with three other shelters in Montreal to help house as many people experiencing homelessness as possible.

Mario loves his new place and the freedom it brings him. He shares a living space with a few other people who are in similar situations. Without the stress of looking for a place to sleep at night on his shoulders, Mario can finally focus all his attention on himself and his healing journey.

Thank you for being there for Mario when he needed you most.

Education in the Time of Quarantine

This summer, not every child had access to the resources they needed to keep up with their classmates during quarantine. For students without regular access to computers, it was impossible to attend their virtual classes consistently or to get the homework support they needed.

Thanks to you, these children still felt supported in their homeschooling journeys.

Your gifts allowed us to connect with struggling parents, ensuring that they had the right structure to facilitate successful home-teaching. Parents also received homework booklets that provided peace of mind and helped children stay on track. Our over-the-phone academic support was one of the most valuable services we were able to offer during the lockdown.

Your generosity made it possible for young students to feel confident returning to school this fall where they can finally regain some sense of normalcy.

For Impacting Thousands Of Lives During COVId-19

When COVID-19 hit Montreal, it significantly increased the amount of food insecurity in our city. Mirella Di Blasio and Pierre Martin quickly put together a program that delivers essentials to those in need.

Mirella came up with the idea when picking up groceries for her mother. The government had just suggested that all elderly citizens stay home, and Mirella thought, “But what if they don’t have anyone who can help them with their essentials?”

She went home and made a Facebook post about her idea to start the delivery service. The response she received was overwhelming, and the program now has over 160 volunteers distributing supplies!

They have been delivering groceries on behalf of Welcome Hall Mission since March 21st and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Mirella and Pierre credit their success to their wonderful community of volunteers and our generous donors. Thank you!