Fall is here and a hard winter is coming, but I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful because you and I have been called to help the vulnerable and disadvantaged, to care for people in need. It’s a calling that joins everyone together with a common cause. And this cause is an important one.

Today, I want to pause and say thank you. More than that, I want to tell you what you’re helping make happen each and every day. 

You see, my role as CEO at the Mission is to get everyone in Montreal to come together and collaborate toward accomplishing one incredible task. We have a city that is in need. But what we also have is a challenge that is solvable. If we can work together with our community, people with the same goal in mind, I know we can solve complex social challenges.

I’m excited to share this newsletter with you because we’ve made some amazing things possible over the last few months. 

Your generosity is truly integral to these stories; thank you so much for your faithful partnership this fall. 

With appreciation,

Samuel Watts

CEO/Executive Director

How You Helped Get Maurice Back Home

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.

in School and Life — Thanks to You

We’re thrilled to tell you that this year’s Back to School campaign was a HUGE success! This one of our biggest matching opportunities ever and thanks to the astounding generosity of our donors we managed to surpass our goal of $100,000!

Over 1,900 backpacks were distributed to kids from kindergarten all the way through to high school. 

After 3 long years of restrictions, this was the first time Rentrée la Tête Haute was able to resume in its full capacity. It was incredible to see the excitement and energy in the air. From employees to volunteers to families—everyone was so happy to be there! It was heartwarming to see little kids with backpacks bigger than they are, smiling ear to ear and so excited to start school. 

Equipping children with everything they need to return to the classroom, means they can hold their heads high. It also means they can focus on their studies and learn, grow and thrive—all while removing the burden of stress on families who are struggling to get by.

Thank you so much for supporting children and parents in need. It goes without saying that you’ve made a tremendous and long-lasting impact in Montreal this fall!

How Marché Bon Accueil is Unique

In case you don’t know, our two Marché Bon Accueil locations are food distribution spots that offer a very unique experience. At the Marché, people in need are able to enjoy the act of grocery shopping because they actually get to choose what they would like to eat. This model is about so much more than providing nutritious food, it was built from the ground up with both dignity and choice at the core. 

We are beyond pleased to offer fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and other healthy foods to help families eat nutritious meals and be healthy! 

You may not know this, but at Marché Bon Accueil, nearly 78% of the food on the shelves is fresh and perishable. We work with volunteers, as well as community partners, and donors like you to keep the shelves stocked. All with the goal of ensuring that as many people as possible have a positive and dignified shopping experience.

Incredibly, we’re able to provide food to more than 4,000 families a week, 365 days a year—thank you so much for helping us be there for families!