Learn about Our Vision & Mission and Our Story
We are a community working towards building a just society where people are valued, shown dignity and respect and are given opportunity to attain a higher quality of life.
We are called to come alongside people experiencing poverty and homelessness, demonstrate the message of Christ in deed and word, show compassion, build self esteem and empower individuals through a strength-based approach.
Ottawa Innercity Ministries is a Christian charitable organization. Our founding verse is Micah 6:8
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8 influences OIM’s approach to ministry, as our team works to embody the “justice”, “mercy” and faithfulness it describes. As a Christian charitable organization, the faith of staff and volunteers shapes both how we choose to model our programs, the vocabulary we use each day, and the core values that shape our mission and vision.
Over the years, OIM has grown from a strictly ‘charity’ model of outreach to one focused on building a supportive community that encourages individuals to move onto the next level of development through a strength-based approach.
Each of our services and programs serve this purpose, beginning with street outreach and our drop-in services - where we offer emergency provisions, build relationships and offer support where individuals are encouraged to build on their strengths and move towards greater autonomy and self-sufficiency.
Our goal is to demonstrate to the members of our community that every person has intrinsic value and has inner strengths, skills and talents that offer individuals hope for change.
Ottawa Innercity Ministries (OIM) was established in 1988.
After years of serving the poor through other agencies, Rev. Susan Brandt and Katrine Coward answered God’s call, leaving their jobs to go into the highways and the byways, bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to the poor.
With the support and blessing of local churches, they became OIM’s first street missionaries to the poor in our Nation’s Capital. Mobile on the streets and operating in borrowed space, Susan and Katrine worked among Ottawa’s vulnerable, offering hope and practical care to those who called the streets their home. For the next 15 years, Rev. Susan Brandt remained with OIM, serving as its Executive Director.
A NEW CHAPTER
In 2003, Rev. Ken MacLaren assumed the duties of Executive Director.
OIM’s staff and volunteer base grew along with its weekly services. Street Outreach remains the largest component of OIM’s work but other ministries include day drop-in programs, youth arts and other youth-oriented programs, Veterans outreach, Work Skills development, home delivery services, advocacy, referrals and more.
Behind the scenes, and playing a crucial role, is also a faithful team of “Innercity Intercessors” who pray daily for this ministry.
With the help of faithful supporters and volunteer, OIM continues to serve Ottawa’s disenfranchised citizens.
Staff is excited to continue exploring new opportunities to grow OIM’s ministries and to continue working as ambassadors of God’s Kingdom to complete the mission of Matthew 25:35-40.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (NIV)