A note from Rachel ...
This newsletter is a tribute to all of the amazing staff who work in our Day Programs. At the start of the pandemic, our energy levels were high. We took immense pride in the speed at which we responded and adapted our programs. Like most people, we thought the pandemic would last for a few months and then we would get back to normal. We thought we were in a sprint and boy were we fast. Recently, someone said that we have been trying to run a marathon at sprint speed.

The past year has been grueling for frontline workers. The Day Programs staff managed multiple outbreaks and supported people impacted not only by the pandemic, but also by the opioid crisis and the homelessness and precarious housing emergency. We owe a tribute to staff that despite the difficulties of working for so long in these conditions, they still manage to find meaning and purpose in their work. People we support tell staff every day about how grateful they are for the Day Programs.

It is not easy to remain thankful for a meal and a hot shower if you have been sleeping outside or live on social assistance. Remarkably, we witness this gratitude daily and it keeps us going.

I am honoured to work at the Day Programs with such a dedicated team. 

Rachel Robinson
Executive Director
Ottawa Anglican Day Programs

A Participant's Point of View:
An Interview with Lucien

An overlooked and distressing impact of lockdown on people who are homeless is the lack of access to public washrooms. As part of our emergency response, we have extended washroom access to men at The Well/ La Source. 

Lucien, a male participant at the Well has offered his invaluable perspective into the barriers that exist to access basic community services during the pandemic. According to Lucien, in the summer of 2020, there were very few community resources providing a place to shower and use the restroom. Due to the barriers brought forth by the pandemic, as well as chronic homelessness, he was unable to shower for over weeks. For Lucien, personal hygiene, healthy body maintenance, and presentation are fundamental to his self-esteem and self-care. He offers a word of advice by quoting a mantra that he lives by, “love yourself as you would love your dog.” To Lucien, this means that an individual is unable to love and care for others, if they haven't yet learned to love and care for themselves.

While Lucien began attending the Well to access the showers and take-out lunch program, he notes that the friendly and comforting atmosphere was what kept him coming back each day.
Our Wonderful New Community Fridge Program!
Our community fridges provide access to rescued and donated foods from established community partners and retailers including Whole Foods, Red Apron, True Loaf, Parkdale Food Centre and the Ottawa Food Bank. Since the beginning of the year, we have diverted over 10,000 pounds of mostly organic produce and foods from the landfill for use in our kitchens and community fridges. These glass-fronted fridges support our mission to offer fresh and nutritious foods, fill gaps within the existing food distribution structure, and provide the community with increased dignity and autonomy over when and what they are eating.

Overall, the community fridge program constitutes a significant step towards achieving universally accessible and affordable nutrition for all. Thanks to our amazing donors, we have also procured a van that transports food, supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) between the three centres!

Heather - Food Programs
Centre 454’s COVID Response to Food Insecurity
In January, in response to the increasing need, we launched a new nutrition program at Centre 454. Building a new food program from the ground up was a great experience. The focus has been on providing freshly-made, non-processed meals with a focus on vegetarian and plant-based meals. The feedback from everyone has been fantastic. Having food available at all times has alleviated a certain stress for our participants who cannot always be in line or at a location at specific times, and subsequently miss out on a meal. The number of daily meals going out has shown the need for food programs like this throughout the city for people who are experiencing homelessness. Our participants have been incredibly thankful. Lockdown has been unbelievably hard on them and these programs have helped immensely.

Dee - Food Services Staff
Cooking with love
Greetings from the inner workings of The Well’s kitchen! My name is Gow, and I am a full-time volunteer in the kitchen. I am originally from Thailand and have spent a large part of my life there. In 2009, I came to Canada for the first time, and in 2017, I officially moved to Ottawa!
As I searched for a full-time volunteer position, I was certain of one thing - I wanted to dedicate my volunteering efforts and time to an organization that revolves around helping people. For me, working in The Well’s kitchen is ‘the best of both worlds. Not only do I get to help people daily, but I also get to see people smiling and enjoying the delicious food that is made in the kitchen.

What I enjoy most about working at The Well is the positivity and helping spirit that radiates throughout the building! Being a helping hand and putting smiles on peoples’ faces never gets old. I wholeheartedly encourage people of all ages to volunteer their time and efforts to help others.

Gow- Volunteer At The Well
Solidarity and Love made visible - Reverend Victoria Scott

“Solidarity means every attempt to make concrete the intangible links between people, links based on love and trust and dignity and understanding and respect…Solidarity is the word “with” turned into practical action, the word “understanding” turned into genuine support…”
These are the words of The Rev. Dr. Samuel Wells, in his book “A Nazareth Manifesto”.
I have witnessed countless acts of solidarity – many moments of love, trust, understanding and respect – at St. Luke’s Table over the last three years. The decision to install additional washrooms, showers, and laundry facilities represents an act of solidarity. In acknowledgement of the link between St. Luke’s and the neighbourhood, we are addressing a deep need in and around the corner of Somerset and Bell streets. It truly is the word “with” turned into practical action, and the word “understanding” turned into genuine support.
Moving the program upstairs while the renovations happened in the basement was another act of solidarity. It was recognition of the need to maintain a place and space on the corner of Somerset and Bell Streets for connection and support, especially during these pandemic days. The combined construction and pandemic restrictions made running the program in the sanctuary challenging. Yet, St. Luke’s Table staff rose to that challenge with grace and continued their steady walk of solidarity with participants in incredibly challenging times. Truly making St. Luke’s a sanctuary for all. Moving the office spaces upstairs, including the Rector’s Office, was done out of love and care for St. Luke’s Table staff, and as an act of solidarity between church and Table. May we continue to find ways to act in solidarity with each other!
Khalil Gibran said, “work is love made visible.” I give thanks every day for the ways that St. Luke’s Table works to make love visible, and I look forward with hope to continuing to make love visible, in solidarity with one and all, on the corner of Somerset and Bell Streets.
Renovations - click for some before & after snapshots! 
Some of our Amazing Staff!
With grateful thanks to...

The MATT Foundation

The City of Ottawa!
Ottawa Food Bank!
June Shout Out!
Thanks to St Alban's parishioners who donated to Centre 454 to celebrate the Ministry of The Venerable Mark Whittall!