Following an impactful career of 30 years, Gordon Russell is set to retire from his position as Director of Shelters with Mission Services of London on June 30th, 2021. Over the last three decades (which is nearly half the life of Mission Services of London as an organization), Gordon has helped countless individuals and families along their journeys towards stable housing, supportive community, and hope for the future.
“When I look back, I can confess that I’m grateful that I was given the opportunity to do what I’ve been doing,” Gordon shared. “I would argue that I’m not what I would consider deserving to have this opportunity. I believe the opportunity was a gift from the beginning and therefore the only response I should have to a gift is gratitude”.
The Mission Services of London team is incredibly grateful for Gordon’s strong and compassionate leadership of Men’s Mission and Rotholme Family Shelter over the years. We wish Gordon all of the very best with his retirement ahead.
As of June 7th 2021, Mike Toth will assume the role of Director of Shelters, providing leadership to both Men’s Mission and Rotholme Family Shelter. Mike will coordinate the development of new and existing programs that respond to the needs of clients while ensuring that service occurs with compassion, integrity, diligence, hope, and effectiveness.
Since 2007, Mike has been the Intake & Program Supervisor of Men’s Mission. Prior to this, he was a Job Developer at Pathways Skill Development, a Program Director at Teen Challenge Farm, and an Officer with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
“I’m looking forward to working with a wider group of staff members within Mission Services of London, and within the social services community as well,” Mike expressed. “My hope is that my years of experience will help to inform some solutions to issues in the community”. Mike is particularly passionate about addressing chronic homelessness, addiction, and mental illness to help those who are struggling to find a different tomorrow. “Trying to help folks is in my makeup. I hate to see people struggle,” he said.
As Mike enters his new role, he plans to continue pursuing a Housing First model within Men’s Mission and Rotholme Family Shelter. “The hope is to move more and more towards rapid housing and where we’ll be able to combat long-term homelessness,” he explained. Ultimately, Mike would like to make sure that no one has to sleep outside again. While it is a substantial goal, he believes, “I’d much rather fail aiming at that than be pessimistic about our ability to hit the goal”.
All of us at Mission Services of London are thrilled to welcome Mike to his new position and look forward to supporting him in his new role.