Entries by admin

He Changed My Mind

Before I started volunteering with Ottawa Innercity Ministries, I lived downtown.  Several days a week I would find myself strolling by a homeless person, refusing to stop and avoiding eye contact. I believed many stereotypes to be true back then – to me, it was ‘better’ for them if I didn’t give them any money […]

Thank God that this friend is in my life

I had a challenging conversation with one of our street engaged friends yesterday. For reasons that I won’t get into, he’s not always the easiest person to get along with. Most frustrating, however, is that in spite of how certain I am that know what’s best for him, and regardless of how many conversations (some […]

It’s not about the food…

OIM hosted our annual Easter Dinner this week.  Over 40 volunteers  served 150 dinners to our street community.  As I stood back and watched the first sitting being served I couldn’t help but smile.  The room was filled with smiles and laughter all around as our volunteers and street community simply enjoyed each other’s company.  […]

“I just needed to do something normal”

No one had heard from her in over a month. She had disappeared…back on the streets, dealing and using drugs. The same old pattern: back in ‘survival mode’, doing whatever she needed to do to survive. Everyone at the art group was worried about her. So when she walked into art group last week, I […]

It’s not really about the jacket

One of the most amazing privileges of working with people is the opportunities we have to build relationships. Over the past years there is one guy with whom I have struck a very interesting and (even cool) connection. I see my friend John every week, usually about three times. I have watched him progress from […]

Who’s really asleep here?

As I write this, you should know that I am really, really angry!  I am angry as I witnessed and was even an unwilling participant of inflicting yet another injustice on one of our less fortunate.  Less fortunate, yes.  Less fortunate because he becomes so easy to pick on, to blame, to push out of […]

The Mundane Is Extraordinary..

“Do you have room for one more?” It was the end of the day at our drop-in and I was getting ready to clean up the foot care station. I was tired. I had been there for four hours cleaning and massaging feet of all sizes, shapes, and conditions. And yet I was drawn to […]

God knows what we need..

I can’t help but feel a profound sense of sadness and tragedy some nights during outreach.  But, once in a while you stumble upon an individual who truly inspires and humbles you in the face of such “despair”.  One such individual I have seen on a rather consistent basis in the past month, and he […]

The great equalizer

Today I took a walk to the cemetery in my hometown to visit my father’s grave for the first time since his passing. Cemeteries are wonderful places for reflection on life and  our purpose here on Earth. Unlike the day of the funeral which was, perhaps appropriately, bitterly cold and cloudy, today was warm, bright […]

Jesus…The Face Of Homelessness?

Have you heard the story about the little boy who shared his lunch with a homeless man?  The little boy had found the older man in a park and was so enthralled with this man’s beautiful smile that the boy apparently had no fear of him, sat next to him for an extended period of […]