Making A Difference:

  • 14,020 Voucher Program visits in 2013-2014.

  • 7,728 nights of stay through Crashbeds in 2013-2014.

  • 223,328 nutritious meals served in 2013-2014.

  • 30,000+ volunteer hours donated in 2013-2014.

  • Founded in 1951. Offering 5 branches of hope.

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Monthly Archives: March 2011

Please plan to attend one of the following Town Hall Sessions at the Men’s Mission Chapel:

April 27, 2015: 3pm – 4pm
April 29, 2015: 7am – 8am
April 30, 2015: 9am – 10am

Town Hall Agenda:
15 04 Town Hall poster – agenda


ABOUT FOUR MONTHS ago, Lisa (name has been changed) was being discharged from Victoria Hospital, part of London Health Sciences Centre, when her social worker provided an option. Lisa had the choice of receiving assistance from a Transitional Case Manager (TCM) from the Community Mental Health Programs (CMHP) branch at Mission Services of London. Engagement with the TCM service is completely voluntary.

Our TCMs are a team of four connected to a greater crisis services continuum within London Middlesex. They are tasked with engaging, connecting and assisting individuals who frequent Emergency Departments or Hospital In-Patient Health Services. They help people who are orphaned from primary health care service, or those experiencing a mental health crisis without connection to resources. For engagements up to nine weeks, TCMs assist individuals with accessing health, mental health, addiction, housing and social services, resulting in fewer admissions to hospital while providing needed support.

Woman“I was happy to be connected to Sharon on the TCM team who helped me with a number of things,” says Lisa. “I had lost my T4 slips. Sharon knew to call Revenue Canada. She took me to the government office and we got the paperwork done. When I needed to contact the hydro company to get that working again, she found the correct number for me to call. She took me to the London Food Bank and to the food program at the Salvation Army. Now I know where to go and which bus to take.”

The Mission Store thrift store has a Voucher Program enabling referred clients to obtain items without cost. “I was able to get a coat, boots, pants and sweaters—all things I needed,” says Lisa.

Lisa is now connected to services through CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) Middlesex including their Community Programs for life skills and social interaction. “I’m a people person so I’m really excited about the program,” says Lisa. She is also on a waiting list for their Intensive Case Management one to one support.

“I’m glad I received assistance from a TCM. I wouldn’t have known about the various community services and how to access them. If someone has the choice for this help, I would tell them to say yes.”


WHEN HE FIRST came to the Men’s Mission & Rehabilitation Centre on York Street almost seven years ago, Scott* said that he had nowhere else to go. “I didn’t feel that it was a place for me because I had worked and held jobs. In my mind, I had a pre-judged idea of people who came to the Mission, and it wasn’t me. I was in one spot and those guys were in another. But there I was.”

The Men’s Mission has 111 emergency shelter beds for homeless men age 16 years and over. In addition, the Roger Smith Wing is a residence with 35 private rooms for longer term transitional accommodation that is paid for by clients through their sources of income. Scott has been able to find stability at the Men’s Mission by staying in a private room, accessing support services and being part of the In-Shelter Work Program.

MMLawn22sept2014bw“I help with grounds keeping at the Men’s Mission. I used to like it, now I love it. I cut grass and do some extra duties; I’m happy to do them. I pick up garbage on all sides of the building two or three times a day. I don’t want anyone walking by to have to see garbage. I also shovel the walkways; last winter was really bad. I earn a stipend for my work, but it’s no longer just about the money. I take pride in it. I want to do the best job that I can. Our grounds are cleaner; I’ve played a part in that.”

All clients meet with an In-Shelter Case Worker; there are three on staff. They are there to provide support with what clients want to work on, and help link them with community resources and other services.

“I’ve had two Case Workers. They are both very knowledgeable. They make time for me, answer my questions, and remind me of my
appointments.” Scott says this helps him stay on track. With assistance, he is looking into housing options outside of the Men’s Mission.

“Since I first came here, my perception has changed—a lot. It’s made a difference being here. I feel fortunate to have been helped by the Mission. Others have helped too, like the couple who brings sandwiches Monday nights. I understand better that I AM someone who can be here. I could be just about anyone.” His last comment about sharing his experience with others was, “I feel honoured to be able to.”


The Forever Legacy Foundation located in Port Stanley, Ontario is a charitable organization that is managed by unpaid volunteers with a focus on the welfare of others. Chartered in 2001, they offer a low cost alternative for donors to establish perpetual endowment funds designated to Canadian charities of their choice.

Mission Services of London is grateful to have received grants from The Forever Legacy Foundation in 2003, 2005 and from 2010 to 2014, all benefiting Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter. Impressive returns led to a more substantial grant of $40,000 in 2014, which was put towards three priorities.

First, $5,000 was used to purchase a Refrigerated Display Case to replace a 20 year old one. This appliance allows food to stay at a constant cool temperature, which complies with Safe Food Handling practices, and is also insulated with environmentally friendly materials. In a small way, it provides independence and dignity to families who are able to choose their own dessert or fruit from the case.  

Second, $10,000 was used to purchase and install four barrier free push pad operators to provide some clients with more independence in the building, and move Rotholme closer to compliance with Handicap Accessibility Standards.

Third, the remaining $25,000 was put towards highest priority needs including food, clothing, supplies as well as items required for the relocation of families as they transition to housing.

Silver King Display Case

We are grateful to all of the walk teams that participate in our annual Coldest Night of the Year winter walk, including the Freedom 55 Financial team co-captained by Paul Gowan. The members of this team raised pledges that were then matched, dollar for dollar, by Freedom 55. We are grateful for this Matching Gift that provides double the impact each year that they participate.

“This is an ideal opportunity to actively participate in loving our city. Every year we bundle up and have a great time. I’m very grateful for those who walk on our team and for the generosity of our supporters!” says Gowan.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves Paul!


For more information on the walk, visit our walk site.


OUR FAMILY SHELTER, Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter assists families of all shapes and sizes by providing emergency shelter, support and housing assistance in a caring and safe environment. Every August we hold a “Back to School Campaign” for supplies needed by school age children who stay at Rotholme not just in September, but all year round.  It’s important to do this and we’re glad to say we can thanks to our donors.

We enlisted the help of the Country 104 FM Summer Cruiser to pick up donation items. We asked, and our community responded with abundant generosity. “We don’t know exactly where it all came from, but we’re grateful for it,” says Caseworker Mariana Karatzas. Donations included many expected items such as back packs, lunch bags, notebooks, binders, paper, pencil cases and several items to fill them with.

Food1smallAs well, numerous snack items were donated by a teacher. “She knows how important healthy school lunches are. Given that Rotholme had over 20 children returning to school September second, she and her family wanted to ensure that our parent clients had enough snacks to fill lunch bags for a month at least,” says Karatzas. 




THERE ARE MAGAZINES and TV shows dedicated to renovations, showing beautiful “after” photos and delighted looks on people’s faces upon completion of projects. A popular project is the bathroom/washroom. Although some are elaborate, they don’t have to be. It’s a basic human need after all.

At the Men’s Mission & Rehabilitation Centre, the east wing washroom has been used for decades by thousands of clients. The original fixtures have served their purpose, but were more than a little worn. With funds from two generous donors, the washroom was redone completely in spring 2014 – new toilets, dividers, window, mirrors, sinks, fixtures and countertop.

We were successful in our application to Westminster College Foundation as a first-time grant recipient. It was our pleasure to show the completed project to Executive Director, Gloria Rolfe, on April 9, 2014.

The project was also made possible through funding by an individual, private donor who has supported Mission Services in the past and agreed to help with this much needed renovation.

Clients will say often, “We love the new washroom!” Housekeeping staff are equally thrilled – they can make it sparkle even more. All around, there is pride of ownership. Thank you to our two donors! You made this possible.

Washroom Sink

by Connie Spuria, Communications & Public Relations Manager

Now that spring is upon us, we may want to forget this winter. Severe snow and cold made it seem longer and darker. For Mission Services of London however, we want to remember the Coldest Night of the Year winter walk held on February 21st – an event filled with hope and energy. Ironically, that evening was one of the warmest in a two week period. It was a balmy -2 degrees, quite a contrast from days earlier when it was -35 degrees.

CNOY2015 “You’re lucky the weather turned out good for walk day,” was a comment I heard a few times. I had the same thought with great relief. And yet I wondered about our clients. Do clients feel lucky when the weather turns warmer or not exactly lucky?

The purpose of the walk is to raise awareness and funds for the hungry, hurting and homeless in our community. Our fundraising goal was $60,000 to be obtained through pledges. Just as important, we wanted to provide participants, 251 of them, with a fun and memorable evening.


We had Catholic Central high school as our “walk headquarters” again this year. In fact, we took over the entire cafeteria. Two students from Fanshawe the “X” 106.9 FM had music to create pre-walk excitement. Elsa Rose from Yoga Shack provided warm-up exercises to get everyone ready to go. Announcers Kim Woodridge and Ian Sterling from Fresh Radio 103.1 FM did a great job as Masters of Ceremonies. We even had the giant Sporty Referee mascot from Sport Clips Haircuts making people smile.


The town crier rang the bell to make it official and our two groups of walkers – 2 km and 5 km – were off. We cancelled the 10 km walk due to the Cold Weather Alert that wasn’t lifted yet from the Middlesex London Health Unit. We would always want to prevent hypothermia and frostbite, for both participants during the walk and clients all through the winter.

Walkers trickled back to the cafeteria to peel off their winter layers, have a rest and warm-up with chili prepared by our Men’s Mission kitchen and served by volunteers from Boardwalk Rental Properties. There was chatter and laughter from children, adults, families, friends, volunteers and co-workers. It was great to see people enjoying themselves.

I was piecing together some new pictures for our slideshow when a reporter from the London Free Press appeared. We talked about the importance of the walk for our organization and I strived to articulate that our focus is on assisting clients. I wasn’t sure if I was getting it across, so I asked him how many winter coats he had. “Oh, at least three or four,” he said. We help folks who usually wouldn’t have more than one. Sometimes the one came from a donor. Helping others isn’t about luck, it’s about heart.

CNOY2015 073sm

Thank you to all participants, volunteers and sponsors. We hope to see you February 20, 2016.


  • Don’t Miss The Mission Store Clothing Clearance Sale

    See what’s in store at The Mission Store thrift store. Great clothing finds include:
    - skirts
    - pants
    - shirts
    - dresses
    - ties
    - and more

    Sale is $5 per bag of clothing or $1 per clothing item – no tax.

    Call the store at 519-438-3056 Monday through Saturday for more information. It’s nifty to be thrifty.

About Us

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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