Sometimes the best motivation for going back to school as a kid was knowing that you were getting some new things. A new backpack, lunch bag and other supplies like pencils, crayons and notebooks can help make that transition more bearable. But what about those with budgets that are stretched to the max? It can be hard for some of our neighbours in need to purchase these items when struggling with other priorities.
In the past, our Back to School Supplies Campaign has been met with generosity from community members and groups wanting to ease the burden for our families. If you are able to pick up some school supplies to donate, or know someone who can, we appreciate it on behalf of our clients. Back to school items will be distributed in September and throughout the school year. Drop off items at Rotholme, Women’s & Family Shelter, 42 Stanley Street (Tel: 519-673-4114).
Volunteer Administrative Assistant Position
Qualities required for all of our volutneer opportunities:
Apply for a Volunteer Opportunity:
Please go to our Volunteer Application Form to apply, or contact our Volunteer Coordinator at 519 433 2807 or email at volunteer<at>missionservices.ca
Housing Selection Worker: Part-Time Contract Position
Rotholme Women’s and Family Shelter of Mission Services of London, has an opening for a part-time Housing Selection Worker, who will support individuals experiencing homelessness in achieving improved housing and health outcomes. This new contract position will be in effect from September 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015 and will report to the Program Supervisor.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Please submit resume and covering letter to:
Shelley Stewart, Program Supervisor
Rotholme Women’s and Family Shelter
Post: July 28, 2014
Remove: August 5, 2014
AT 17, MELISSA was on a destructive path and described herself as a ‘troubled teen.’ “I was partying a lot back then and had no direction.” On two occasions she spent a few weeks at Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter, in addition to couch surfing. “I kept thinking about why I wasn’t happy and why I didn’t feel good about myself.”
Not able to have a dog as a child, she changed that in 1998 by getting a four-legged friend. She did some training with her pet for fun, and then got the chance to apprentice and learn how to become a dog trainer. Melissa recalls her career turning point while bartending in Toronto in 2004.
“This woman arrived with a broken boot heel. I gave her an extra pair I had that fit her, and told her to return them later. She did, and hidden inside them were a thank you note and a necklace. She wrote that the necklace brought her luck, and she hoped it would do the same for me.”
Melissa’s determination to pursue her dream of entrepreneurship took off from there. She kept the necklace as a reminder to be a good person and do good deeds whenever possible.
Melissa went on to launch her dog training school in London, “In Dogs We Trust.” With her positive reinforcement methodologies, Melissa helps hundreds of family pets and their owners each year. She holds training workshops for professionals in the pet industry including Veterinary Technicians and Service Dog Trainers. Each month she advises staff and volunteers at the London Humane Society, where her black lab Sophia was rescued.
Melissa shares her expertise on radio and TV, and is the host of “Doggy House Calls” on Rogers Cable 13. She is also the founder of the ‘Ultimutts’ dog show where her dogs charm and entertain audiences with feats such as tightrope walking, skateboarding, skipping, cue card reading and more.
Fifteen years after staying at Rotholme, Melissa returns there on Sundays so that residents can see her dogs perform and interact with them.
“The positive energy that the dogs bring is unmistakable. They clearly enjoy their time with the families and as working performance dogs, they should use their talent for more than monetary gain. Not only is volunteering good for the dogs, I can only hope that the families get as much out of it. For me, it’s the feeling of making the world a better place by sharing my passion with others. Visiting Rotholme also helps me remember a difficult time in life and shows me how far I have come through hard work. It is beautiful to see everyone appreciate the dogs, and to share something so special with my daughter, Sienna.”
Learn more about Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter.
(Story from Curb Notes July 2014 – cover)
JAZMYNE FINISHED SHARING her story with a smile. Bright sun streamed in from the window behind her. Her whole face lit up. When we wrote this article in January 2014, Jazmyne was a student at Everest College in the Addictions and Community Services program near the end of her studies. She was thrilled to be completing a placement with Community Mental Health Programs (CMHP) through Mission Services of London. “I understand what clients are going through because I’ve been there myself,” she says.
Eight years ago Jazmyne had a very different life. At 17 she moved out of the house and dropped out of high school. She was in a relationship and they both started using drugs all the time. She was constantly being evicted for not paying rent. “All my money went to my addiction,” she said.
In January 2007 she had a daughter, and six months later her mom and dad discovered that Jazmyne was battling addiction. Her parents went to court to receive full custody and would allow access only if she could produce a clean drug test. “There wasn’t much hope of that with me becoming an IV drug user and bouncing in and out of jail.”
Fearing that her lifestyle would lead to death, Jazmyne reached out to Rob at Streetscape – a program for individuals in crisis as part of CMHP. On Dec. 24, 2008 she entered Turning Point recovery home in London. She became clean and was able to see her daughter. She was in a new relationship and had a son in Sept. 2009.
Life was fairly stable even though she drank socially with her boyfriend. In July 2011, however, her world spun out of control again. Her son was put into foster care and she had to face up to another addiction—alcohol. “I didn’t have much left. And I didn’t want my children to have this kind of life.”
Again, Jazmyne turned to Mission Services to get help and find treatment. “I relied on Crashbeds (emergency shelter at CMHP) as a place to go; they became like a family. I received a lot of support from other women at the 12-Step meetings I attended. Also, I knew that unless I went back to school a turn-around wasn’t going to happen for me, so I enrolled in college.”
Jazmyne now has a happy with her son at home, and her daughter who lives with her mom a few doors down. Maintaining stability is something she has to work on continually. She gives a lot of credit to her mom, saying, “She is a constant support; she never gave up on me.”
Learn more about Community Mental Health Programs.
(Story from Curb Notes January 2014 – cover)
Tickets are on sale now for our Annual Fall Banquet & Silent Auction being held Tuesday, November 4th at the London Convention Centre. This year’s focus is on Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter. You won’t want to miss our guest speaker, humanitarian and teacher Stacey Bess. For more information see: http://missionservices.ca/upcoming-events/annual-fall-banquet/
From the City of London – March 24, 2014
London’s Community Plan Regarding Street Involved Sex Workers
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the London’s Community Plan Regarding Street Involved Sex Workers about?
London is developing a plan aimed at addressing, reducing and preventing homelessness regarding street involved sex workers. The plan will include recommendations on programs and solutions; the costs; evaluation criteria; and, will cover a 10 year planning period.
Who will be involved in developing the Plan?
Women with lived experience, their families, service providers from different sectors including community, health and justice, the London Police Service, as well as all levels of government, business and interested citizens will be included in the interviews and conversations.
How will the Plan be developed?
The Plan will be based on the lived experience of street-involved women and evidence informed practices collected through an international literature review. A “Housing First” approach is the underlying approach of the plan and will look at how housing stability, health and well-being can be achieved.
Why an emphasis on street involved sex workers?
We know that there are many reasons why individuals and families are homeless. Each person has unique reasons and therefore the supports and solutions need to focus on their unique circumstances. Individuals who experience chronic homelessness, street involved sex workers, youth and our urban Aboriginal populations are the priority groups identified under the Homeless Prevention System.
Are there areas the Plan will not address?
The plan will focus on the housing, health, and well-being of street involved sex workers. The plan will not consider the Supreme Court ruling, human trafficking and other forms of sex work including brothels, adult films, massage parlours, escort services and exotic dance clubs.
What is London’s Homeless Prevention System?
In 2010, City Council and the London Homeless Coalition approved the Community Plan on Homelessness and in 2013 the London Homeless Prevention System was introduced. The System focuses on applying a Housing First philosophy and approach to succeed at addressing, reducing and preventing homelessness in London. One key area of focus is to develop a community plan regarding street involved sex workers.
What is a “Housing First” approach?
A “Housing First” approach shifts the priority to move individuals and families quickly into a home with the supports needed to support their stability. This approach is in contrast to other models which expect individuals and families to first address the issues that led to their homelessness such as addiction, trauma, and mental illness before they were housed.
This evidence-based philosophy has proven positive results that health and well-being improves by quickly housing and stabilizing individuals and families who are in a housing crisis or are homeless.
When will the Plan be released?
The plan will be presented to Municipal Council in late 2014.
How can I get involved?
Contact Jan Richardson or Maria Sanchez-Keane if you wish to learn more about the consultation process.
Jan Richardson, Manager, Homeless Prevention, Neighbourhood, Children & Fire Services email@example.com 519.661.2500 ex.5228
Maria Sánchez-Keane, Consultant
Centre for Organizational Effectiveness
firstname.lastname@example.org |519.636.7079 (text only)
To: All Employees
From: Brenda Chapman, Director of Human Resources
Date: July 9, 2014
Re: MSL Pension Plan
Mission Services of London is pleased to announce that effective September 1, 2014, we will be transferring our Group Retirement Plan from Manulife Financial to Industrial Alliance.
After a complete market review, we have chosen Industrial Alliance to provide the ongoing investment and administrative services associated with our Group Retirement Plan. Industrial Alliance is a 114-year old Canadian Company with over $95 Billion in assets and more than 4,000 employees across Canada. They offer services coast to coast to more than 210,000 group retirement savings participants.
Here are just some of the benefits associated with participating in the new Mission Services Group Retirement Plan:
- Lower Investment Management Fees & Higher GIC rates leaving more money in your account for your retirement.
- Access to various retirement savings tools to assist you in your journey toward retirement.
- Access to your account at all times through Cyber-Client website and Customer Service Call Centre.
- More than 80 Investment Funds to choose from over 25 professional fund managers.
- Ongoing access to a professional representative directly:
Dave Kudsia. 519-579-9693 x23
You may also choose to transfer other existing registered assets directly into your new plan. Should you wish to consolidate your investments, we advise you to provide a recent statement copy at the time of enrolment and a representative from GMS-SWO will be pleased to help you with the transfer details.
To ensure a smooth and easy transition to Industrial Alliance, enrolment sessions for all employees currently in the Mission Services of London Pension Plan will be held on the following dates/times.
Monday, July 21, 2014 – 7am to 8am
Monday, July 21, 2014 – 9am to 10 am
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 – 3pm to 4 pm
These sessions will be held at the Men’s Mission & Rehabilitation Centre chapel. It is mandatory that all employees currently in the Mission Services of London Pension Plan attend one of these sessions. Your immediate supervisor will make the necessary arrangements to facilitate your attendance at one of these three sessions.
NOTE: Casual relief staff are not eligible for the Pension Plan and therefore do not need to attend the meeting.
To: All Staff
From: Peter Rozeluk, Executive Director
Date: July 8, 2014
Re: Brenda Chapman Retirement
It is with some sadness that I announce the retirement of Brenda Chapman from Mission Services of London (MSL) on December 24, 2014. After many years in the workforce, she has decided that it is time to spend more time with her family and enjoy sunny weather as much as possible.
Brenda joined MSL in June 2012, after working in the private sector at SPG Packaging here in London, which followed a career as a Salvation Army officer with postings in Ontario and BC.
Immediately upon her arrival, Brenda successfully guided MSL through a Workwell audit, which we passed on our first attempt. She has been instrumental in leading the total revision of our Personnel Policy Manual, developing and shaping our Health & Safety and Human Resource policies. She has brought a heightened awareness of the importance of Health and Safety to the entire organization through the Joint Health and Safety teams, monthly quizzes and communication boards.
She has also focused on internal and external pay equity by revising job descriptions, performance evaluation forms and policies, ensuring consistent application throughout the organization and guiding our movement towards external pay competitiveness.
She has been a valuable member of the senior management team, providing wisdom and insight from her unique perspective.
She will be completing several HR projects, one of which is finding a replacement prior to her departure in December.
As the time of her official retirement comes closer, more information about her retirement celebration will be provided.
Mission Services of London opens doors of hope with compassion for those seeking emergency shelter and support, by offering safe shelter, food, clothing and rehabilitation.
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