What is The Scott Mission?
The Scott Mission was founded in 1941 by Rev. Morris and Mrs. Annie Zeidman. The Scott Mission is a non-denominational Christian organization responding to the needs of the poor, homeless, abandoned and vulnerable of all ages. Based in Toronto, Canada, the Mission offers practical, emotional and spiritual support to thousands of people every year.
While religious belief and practice are never conditions for receiving help and assistance, and everyone is welcome regardless of faith background, The Scott Mission is committed to the spiritual well-being of all people through the life and witness of Jesus Christ. We would like everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus, and to express this relationship in a life of integrity and in acts of kindness toward others.
What services does The Scott Mission provide?
Among our many services, we offer hot meals six days a week, daily bag lunches, a low-cost daycare, a summer camp for children and youth, free good-quality clothing, groceries, shower and laundry facilities for the homeless, an overnight program, shelter, an after-school program for children and youth, and friendly visitation and retreats. The Mission is focused on the poorest of the poor.
What is your budget and how is The Scott Mission funded?
The Mission spends about $8,000,000 per year, including capital projects. This covers the cost for over 160 full-time and part-time staff, plus all of the costs associated with providing services for tens of thousands of needy people every year. The Mission is funded through three main sources: donations from private individuals, businesses and foundations; bequest income; and investment income. Less than 10% of the Mission’s revenues come from government.
I am moving and may have some items to donate. What will you take?
We appreciate the many gently-used items that are donated to the Mission. In addition to perishable and non-perishable food, we accept gently-used clothing and small household items. Generally, we say that if it is small enough to carry on public transportation (as this is how many of our clients travel), then we would be happy to receive it. Our clients appreciate small household items such as toasters, lamps, dishes, etc. as many of them are just starting out in Canada with few things to set up home. If you have larger furniture items, please contact The Furniture Bank.
Do you pick up donations?
We do offer donation pick-up within Toronto, but the cost of providing this service is rising. It would be a great help to us if there was any way that you could have your donations of goods delivered directly to the Mission. Friends or relatives work downtown might be willing to drop them off. If this is not possible, please call 416-923-8872 to set up a pick-up appointment. Please note that we will pick up your items on a day when there are several pick-ups in your area, in order to make the most of our driver's time. You will be given a four-hour window of time when the driver will arrive.
Where are you located?
We are located at 502 Spadina Avenue (north-west corner of College and Spadina) in Toronto, Canada. Please click here for a map.
How many people do you help per year on average?
The answer is simple - thousands. In 2010, we served 64,209 hot meals and bag lunches to men and women; set up 35,020 clothing appointments for men, women and children; 44,482 bags of groceries from our food bank were given to families in need; cared for the many children in our Child Care Centre; provided a free one-week camping experience for more than 600 children and youth at our summer camp in Caledon, Ontario; distributed 2,917 Christmas grocery gift cards; distributed free Christmas gifts to 2,568 children at Christmas; handed out 5,976 baby items, and provided shelter, laundry and shower facilities for 45-50 homeless men, 365 days a year.
Why are people homeless?
People become homeless for a variety of reasons:
- Many problems among the homeless stem from painful childhood experiences of neglect, abuse, or breaches of trust. Mistreating a child can leave permanent scars that may never fade as he or she enters adulthood.
- Poverty is often handed down through generations. Patterns of poverty are stubborn and it takes immense effort for those who have learned the "habits of poverty" to break these vicious cycles.
- Alcohol and drug abuse by parents can also lead to genetic syndromes such as fetal alcohol syndrome, in which a person can become vulnerable and susceptible to the influence of addictive substances.
- Disadvantaged children and youth consequently find it hard to concentrate in school. Many are malnourished and in poor physical condition. A lack of success in school brings social pressure and humiliation.
- Many homeless people suffer from frustrating learning disabilities. When success at school proves elusive, it is tempting to leave school and enter the working world before one has had a chance to prepare oneself adequately. This growing reduction in opportunity and choices produces a lack of hope, a feeling that one might as well just give up.
- Escaping reality through alcohol and drugs can become very tempting for an individual on the streets. Those who become addicts run into trouble when they have no money. A criminal record only adds to their hopelessness.
A lack of education, a tragic upbringing, an inconsistent work history, criminal records, serious physical, mental and emotional conditions… Any one of these would be enough to defeat even the strongest of us. That is why we, at the Mission, feel an obligation to reach out to those living on our streets. We want to restore hope in their lives so they can find peace and joy in this world.