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A Night out with a Street Outreach Team

It was an extremely busy night, perhaps because of the long weekend. We talked to almost 60 street friends. Conversations ranged from nostalgic food items from our childhood, to prayer requests, to conspiracy theories about 911 and COVID; people were chatty.

A few times tourists from Toronto approached us to inquire about OIM and to give donations ($20). Peoples’ hearts are touched by our practical ministry and our street friends are so appreciative of all the food and clothing we provide!

We brought out over 50 clothing items and only returned with 3. The weather is changing quickly so many wanted hats, long sleeved shirts and coats. Our team fills up the giant cart with 8 loaves of sandwiches and then we put 3 garbage bags of clothing on top. Mike can hardly pull it when we leave OIM early at 4:30pm, but by the time we turned from Bank onto Sparks Street we already had seen close to 50 people. We returned at 8:15pm. It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to meet the needs of those whose paths we cross!

Doug has gotten a new yellow coat, which he found discarded on a side street. He was so happy about this. Jess and Mary were sitting in front of a local storefront last night. Jess was feeling very down, but we prayed with him and gave him some new muscle shirts (which he quickly put on). Mary appeared stronger, since she recently got out of jail, but both of these guys need extra TLC and encouragement.

Frank went from being extremely happy about having a girlfriend last week, to sleeping again in his doorway by Tim Horton’s last night. Glen, who sits by the mural, approached us to check on Frank because he thought he might need a medical intervention. Bethany told us she moved to Orleans, but she still hangs out on Bank. We have seen her needs continually increasing each week.

I am so grateful for all of the recent clothing and personal care donations that have recently poured into OIM. I see them flying off the back storage shelf and straight into the arms of those who desperately need them. God has matched a person with each item, from the lime green coat to the orange pants and from the extra small shirt to the 2XL sweater. For this reason, we like to bring a wide range of sizes and styles.

God bless OIM’s outreach teams as you become the Lord’s outstretched arms. Bless you for your commitment to make a difference in Ottawa.

~Shelda & Mike, Volunteers

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