As an intervention worker at Welcome Hall Mission, I meet all kinds of people—and every single one of them has a unique story. Each person’s distinct life circumstances have led them here, to Montreal, and through our doors.
I first noticed Maurice, an elderly gentleman, wearing a red velvet blazer, suspenders holding up overly-large black dress pants, and what made me smile was his almost out-of-place Blue Jays cap on his head.
He was shuffling over to a table, carrying his meal. I went over and introduced myself.
After that day, I saw him often at our Macaulay Pavilion shelter. Each time, I would say, “Hello Maurice, I hear the Blue Jays are doing well! Would it be alright if I sat down with you?” And he would reply, “Yes, we have a very good team. You may sit down, if you’d like.”
We developed a relationship and I got to know his situation.
He told me the hardest day of his life was the day his beloved wife of 52 years passed. Maurice has dementia, and despite having a brother in Montreal, his disease prevented him from living with his brother. That’s how he found himself without a home, seeking shelter wherever he could find it.
Understanding Maurice’s current reality meant I could offer him assistance for his unique needs.
While I was looking for the right supportive living situation for Maurice, an unexpected caller was patched through to my phone. It was from a public curator in Winnipeg trying to locate one of his clients who was apparently living in Montreal. Indeed, it was Maurice!
In collaboration with the curator in Winnipeg, Maurice and I talked about his options. After careful consideration, he decided he wanted to return to Winnipeg to live in an apartment where there was assisted care.
Today, thanks to your generosity, Maurice is living in a supportive apartment, and he’s back home in Winnipeg where his children and grandchildren also live.
“I’m so grateful to the Mission for helping me return home to Winnipeg. Without their help, I don’t know where I’d be,” says Maurice.
Helping people to change their living situations requires not only skill, dedication, kindness and efficiency, but also a high level of cooperation in the delivery of quality services. Thank you for giving to make this vital work at Welcome Hall Mission possible, so people like Maurice can get the help they need to improve their lives.