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Back Door Mission receives $10,000 grant to help Oshawa’s most vulnerable

(Photo courtesy Back Door Mission)

By Courtney Bachar/The Oshawa Express

The Back Door Mission at Mission United is the recipient of a local grant that will allow the organization to better help the unsheltered and most vulnerable population in the city.

Back Door Mission received a $10,000 grant from Pathwise Credit Union recently, as part of the annual Empowering Your Community campaign with Concentra Bank. Canadian credit unions can nominate not-for-profit organizations and charities to recent one of 17 grants – three valued at $10,000 and 14 valued at $5,000.

Members of the Back Door Mission were thrilled to hear they were one of the top grant recipients after receiving the news on a recent Zoom call with members from Pathwise Credit Union.

“This shows how the community is really recognizing the work that Back Door Mission, along with those we collaborate with, to serve the community in need and to provide all the essential needs we are currently providing for them as we remain open – even during this pandemic,” says Eduardo Flores of the Back Door Mission.

He says to have funding that’s not geared towards specific programming is important because there are so many different needs that are being met through the Back Door Mission.

One of the things he says is happening is using the facilities at Simcoe Street United Church to provide services for the unsheltered.

“We provide warmth and food, health care, mental health support, coordinator access for housing, and social services,” he adds, as well as supervising safe sleep areas.

Flores notes they’re still observing restrictions and are being mindful when they open the doors for people to have a place to rest during the day.

“As the restrictions are implemented, the urgency rises even more because these people have no place to access services as basic as washrooms, as basic as places where they could go to warm up, especially during the winter,” he continues. “This raises the frustration among the unsheltered and marginalized population, so it’s really important that places like the Back Door Mission remains open to support them.”

Pathwise Credit Union has increased its commitment to the community by selecting five sustainable development goals they can deliver on, including SDG11 – Inclusive Cities – which is one of many reasons they support the Back Door Mission.

Meg Cox, the director of community impact at Pathwise, says they support organizations such as the Back Door Mission because of the impact the organization has on the community and the number of people they help and support.

“The biggest thing is they’re measurable. People want to know an organization is helping and Back Door Mission has the numbers,” she says, noting the organization serves more than 5,000 warm meals each month, has provided health care visits totaling over 4,000, and provides non-perishable food to more than 650 patrons a month.

“This organization has always been important to our Credit Union and nominating them for the Concentra Empowering Your Community Campaign 2021 was an easy decision as their mission, team, patrons, and efforts are incredibly deserving of this award and recognition,” adds Cox.

Flores says what the organization is able to do is because of the support of the community.

“This really is a community working together.”

What’s even more important, he says, is being able to better move this forward and what this leads to.

“This is a good model of service delivery and it’s showing us that, and it’s not possible without the help of engaged community partners like Pathwise.”