A Note from Rachel ...
This year has been one for the history books!

Amidst the strains of the COVID-19 pandemic, a recommendation from the Management Boards of Centre 454 and St Luke’s Table/The Well to the Community Ministry Committee, saw the three community day programs merge under one management board and a single executive director. 

It is an honour and privilege to have been asked and to accept leadership of the three Anglican Day Programs. 

I want to share news of the incredible work that our staff have undertaken throughout this challenging year. I hope that in reading this newsletter, you will learn more about our programs and the success we have had in pivoting our services during the challenging realities we have faced.  

This newsletter is a tribute to all those we serve. Those among us who are unsheltered, precariously housed or otherwise in need. 

I would like to thank the Community Ministry Committee and our Management Board for the faith and trust they have placed in me. The programs and services we offer are essential to our community. We continue to see a growing demand and increasing numbers of participants.

As the year draws to its close, I want to share with you one last opportunity to join us as we celebrate our success and seek support from the Ottawa community. 
On Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13, 2020, at 8 am each morning, we are participating in “An Hour to Give” radio show hosted by Sam Laprade on 1310 NEWS. We will be calling to action the Ottawa community to support us financially so we can continue to offer our programs and services.
We hope for a brighter year ahead and look forward to building on the experience and knowledge we have gained during 2020.
Thank you for your loyal and continued support.
Rachel Robinson
Executive Director
Anglican Community Day Programs
Letters From The Front Line
The past ten months have been exhausting, regardless of what walk of life you come from. However, those in the homeless and vulnerably housed population in Ottawa have faced additionally unique challenges. Issues like social isolation, increased substance use, deteriorating mental health, evictions, or simply being unable to access public bathrooms.

Despite this, the resilience I witnessed firsthand since returning to the Diocese in June, has been humbling, to say the least. For many participants, our day programs are an inherently essential service for offering hygiene services, food stability, social support, and most importantly, a sense of community.

The value of each day program, not only reopening some of the previous services but also expanding on them to include Street Outreach and evenings at St. Luke's Table has been inspiring to be around.

The sense of excitement, relief, and appreciation that our participants display when we share our expanding services, shows just how dedicated the staffing team is to meet the needs of the communities we work in.

With a year filled with such despair and grief across the world, helping our participants to find hope once again, is a heartwarming experience.

Liam- Front Line Staff
Made With Love From Our Kitchens
For the kitchen staff during the pandemic, the theme was 'adaptability'. March came in like a lion! Within days of the pandemic being declared, we were making and bagging hundreds of lunches a day for delivery to our community.

After a couple of months of deliveries, we teamed up with the City of Ottawa and started serving hot meals al fresco at McNabb Community Centre.

Both kitchens at St Luke's Table and The Well worked together to provide, not just a main course, but tasty vegetarian options and fresh side salads. The logistics of cooking and transporting large amounts of food daily was a herculean task. Once we got into the swing of setting up and serving, we found we were reaching an entirely new group, new to our community.

Throughout the summer and into fall, requirements and needs kept changing. I've always known we had a great team, but seeing the entire staff rally around each other and adapt to each new request was inspirational. Every one of us put aside our 'regular' roles, pivoted and then enthusiastically took on new tasks, making the program not only survive but thrive!

Now as we move into winter and life begins to move indoors, so have we. Continuing with our City partnership, now at Tom Browne Arena, we continue to provide hot, nourishing food to those in need. Life, as it was pre-pandemic, is gone, but the dedication of our entire team continues unabated.

Dee - Food Services Staff
A Voice From The Volunteers

One cold December evening several years ago, I was watching the local news with a segment about St Luke’s Table. I immediately paid attention as goosebumps ran up both my arms. It is a day I will not forget.

Soon after, I regularly volunteered with St Luke’s, Monday being my favourite day of the week. I found my happy place! This year with the COVID-19 pandemic spread and restrictions implemented across the country, the Anglican Diocese community day programs adjusted their outreach activities. With indoor gatherings for breakfast and lunch curbed, St Luke’s focused more on meal delivery and less on programming.

Like many other volunteers across the city, with changing protocols to programs, I could no longer help. My Mondays became quieter, except for occasional requests to help deliver items for another of the day programs. These days, I find myself driving to Whole Foods on Sunday to pick up what is always a generous donation of baked goods, produce and dairy products, delivering them to the Well. When I turn off the lights and lock up, I pause to enjoy the smell of the baked goods waiting for everyone on Monday morning.
But I worry about the difficult but necessary changes to our programs. The reality is as humans, we’re social creatures and thrive in community, we don’t thrive when we’re isolated.

This pandemic has been cruel to our participants who can no longer benefit from sharing a laugh over a warm meal or a cup of coffee in a safe, nurturing environment. Thankfully, dedicated staff and volunteers in our community day programs are adapting to address the pressing needs of those who need it the most. I am inspired and moved by those who generously donate and give their time to help our community when it needs it the most.

Richard- Volunteer At St Luke's Table
Chaplain's Report
As a chaplain at St. Luke’s Table and Centre 454, my role is to provide pastoral and spiritual care to everyone who comes attends our community programs. But the pandemic posed an enormous challenge.

Before COVID-19, my chaplain hours were one morning a week for each program. The community were familiar with my schedule and could count on seeing me on specific days; I also made pastoral or emergency visits on other days.

The shutdown made much of that ministry impossible. In the early months of the pandemic, I shifted to helping prepare and deliver meals and to be a clerical presence for our staff. I kept in touch with our community through “check-ins” during food deliveries. As our services expanded to include drop-in hours and hot meals at various locations, I became a pastoral presence wherever our community gathered.

Today, I continue to deliver meals for the Well, hold regular prayer services at Centre 454, and offer pastoral presence at St. Luke’s Table and other meal service sites. Though challenging, the pandemic experience has taught us a few important lessons. Foremost, because of our food deliveries, I have a strong sense of where and in what poor conditions our community is housed. But I have also learned how responsive our community programs can be in a time of crisis.

I am proud of how well our staff so deftly adapted the service and care for the vulnerable in our city.

The Reverend Jarrett Carty - Chaplain
To Our Dedicated Staff
As COVID-19 fell upon us in mid-March, the Day Programs (Centre 454, St Luke’s Table, and The Well) of our diocesan Community Ministries transformed their services. Where once we gathered people each day in the community, now we’re focused on food security and keeping people safe and distanced from others.

In the early weeks of the pandemic, it was an all-hands-on-deck situation. Through April and May, I worked side-by- side with our front-line staff. We prepared food packs each day, delivering them to people on the street or in their rooming houses.

A Street Outreach Program was developed, and care was taken to connect with people to ensure their wellness, assisting in whatever way we were able. Our day programs did open their doors again, providing showers and laundry or a place to check-in with a caring person, always ensuring safety protocols were in place.

As the months rolled on, our services continued to adapt to the ever-changing needs and circumstances of the pandemic. Through it all, I saw first-hand the commitment, skill, creativity, flexibility, compassion, mutual support, and resilience of our staff.

Now that I have had to return to my desk, with many emails and Zoom meetings, I am reminded each day that the work I do is meant to support our front-line workers who serve the most vulnerable in our community. Our staff are inspired and inspiring!

Thank you for your support of them and the people they serve.

The Reverend Canon Dr Peter John Hobbs, Director of Community Ministries
Thanks for the support we get from
The City of Ottawa!
So grateful for the work of the Ottawa Food Bank!