With guest speaker David Chapman, Assistant Director of The Open Door.
The Open Door is a drop-in centre providing services to homeless and low-income people in downtown Montreal. The centre provides food and clothing, laundry services, shelter during the day, counselling, referrals to professional mental health and drug addiction counsellors, and employment assistance. The Open Door also helps its clients obtain medical assistance, free prescription eyeglasses, haircuts, and assistance in coping with gambling, alcohol or substance abuse.
The Open Door has become a beacon of light and hope to many of its visitors. One-third of the homeless people who regularly attend The Open Door move off the street into a room, an apartment or a mission. Many clients develop a strong sense of community and belonging; they support and encourage each other, and often volunteer to help clean up "their" drop-in centre. Through their interaction with staff and volunteers, clients begin to feel that somebody really cares for them, and they find the dignity, friendship and hope they need to begin rebuilding their lives.