Mission Services of London is proud to be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2021!
What began by Alvin and Madeline Roth in 1951 as a nine-bedroom house to provide food, shelter, and clothing to men in need has grown into an organization of five branches dedicated to helping thousands of neighbours each year who struggle with poverty, homelessness, mental illness, and addiction.
Though we have grown in size and scope, our Christian faith-based values of compassion, hope, integrity, and diligence have remained steadfast since the very first day our doors opened to neighbours in need in the London area.
The past seven decades of service and impact would not have been possible without the helping hands and generous hearts of the community including past and present staff, volunteers, donors, partners, and supporters. Mission Services of London continues to be a true community venture and for that, we are entirely grateful.
To learn more about the rich history of Mission Services of London, please check this page often as stories, photos, and relics of the past 70 years continue to be published throughout the year.
Executive Director Peter Rozeluk reflects on the past 70 years in this Spring 2021 Curb Notes article featuring Community Mental Health Programs (CMHP).… Read more
Note Card Contest Photos
Between May 4th and 14th, cast your vote for your favourite photo to celebrate Mission Services of London’s history of service and impact in the London area. The top three photos with the highest number of votes will earn a spot on the cover of special edition note cards!
Beginning in 1951, Goodwill Rescue Mission (as Mission Services of London was first known) offered clothing to people in need in addition to other necessities like meals and clothing. When the Women’s Auxiliary formed in 1960, they assumed responsibility for clothing distribution which evolved and grew into an innovative clothing store offering an emergency voucher program. The voucher program still operates today as part of the Mission Store, serving over 4,000 individuals each year.
Young men delivering canned goods to Goodwill Rescue Mission which later became London Rescue Mission in 1957. In 1969, London Rescue Mission was renamed Mission Services of London when leadership of the organization was turned over from the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada to an interdenominational Board of Directors.
Men participating in the Life Skills program which began in 1982 at Men’s Mission. A decade later, it expanded to include what is now Rotholme Family Shelter until ultimately becoming a service provided by Community Mental Health Programs in 1997.
A family enjoys a hearty meal at Rotholme Family Shelter. Named after the founder of Mission Services of London, Alvin Roth, Rotholme began as a women’s shelter in 1956 with room for six women. Merging with the Family Centre in 1984, Rotholme Family Shelter now offers shelter, nourishing meals, and housing support to hundreds of families every year.
In 2005, local chainsaw artist Robbin Wenzoski created a unique eagle structure out of a tree near the driveway of Quintin Warner House. When the tree had to be removed in 2012, Wenzoski carefully removed the eagle and refitted its wings to fold inward as if in prayer. The eagle sits atop of wooden plaque that reads, “I will lift you up on eagle wings,” a scripture passage that resembles the struggle and deliverance of Quintin Warner House program participants and graduates.
This participatory project, One Body, invited people served by Mission Services of London to share their input on the struggles and solutions of those experiencing homelessness, addiction, and mental illness in the community. Through storytelling and painting, the above artwork was created and is now displayed in the boardroom of the Administration Office.
#ThrowbackThursday #MSL70Years on Facebook
#ThrowbackThursday to 1962 when the Women’s Mission moved to this three-story house on Clarence St. The house provided 17 beds and three meals a day for women experiencing homelessness in London. In 1975, the Women’s Mission was renamed Rotholme after the founder of Mission Services of London, Alvin Roth, and later became Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter when the Women’s Mission merged with the Family Centre in 1986, shortly after a move to Stanley St. Today, Rotholme Family Shelter continues to operate on Stanley St., offering shelter, meals, and housing services to hundreds of families each year! #MSL70Years
#ThrowbackThursday to the very beginnings of what we now know as the Mission Store. In 1964, a dedicated and compassionate group of ladies, the Women’s Auxiliary, began offering clothing to those in need through the Clothing Centre which evolved into the Twice as Nice Thrift Mart (photo) and then into the Mission Store. In 1966, an emergency voucher program began and is still being offered today, 55 years later! #MSL70Years
This warm weather calls for a #ThrowbackThursday to 2007 when Rotholme Family Shelter welcomed an outdoor playground for children thanks to generous community donations! #MSL70Years
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