Nurse Hot Meal
Bottle Check in place, if a guest is caught drinking on the property they will be removed from the site and re-located. Anyone who is violent or belligerent will be re-located
here if you would like to volunteer
at this location.
ALL SITES HAVE ACCESS TO THE DIXON HALL RESOURCE AND SUPPORT SERVICES VAN IF THE SITE BECOMES FULL OR IF A GUEST HAS TO BE RELOCATED
Chinese Gospel Church is situated on Dundas Street just west of Spadina and as such is smack in the middle of the original Chinatown in downtown Toronto. The availability of cheap Chinese cooking wines and affordable food makes our location very attractive to the poor and the homeless. Like many churches, we have ignored and avoided them for the best part of 34 years. We just did not know what to do.
Then one day, the custodian of our church, Sherman Williams, befriended one street person by the name of Vernon. Sherman developed a heart of compassion for those in such situations. He shared this burden with his own church, First Baptist Church, but no one there knew how to turn such zeal into action either.
Until in 1996, an Elder of Chinese Gospel Church saw on the news how one street person had died in the snow storm and heard that the Out of the Cold Program worked to prevent such tragedies from happening.
He knew that it would be a hard sell to the church leadership of a very conservative Chinese church to open its doors to street people who were, for the most part, not Chinese in ethnicity. So he started with the grassroots, with those who would be volunteers and organised visits to the existing sites so as to learn as much as possible about the program. When consensus was reached that this was something that God had directed them to do, the church membership embraced the idea with great enthusiasm.
Sherman then embarked on a similar crusade in his own church. And so it was that on January 9, 1997, the 450 Dundas Street building opened its doors to its first guests under a program run jointly by Chinese Gospel Church & First Baptist Church. The first season was run as a trial for 2 months but at the end of that period, it was unanimously clear that the Out of the Cold Program was here to stay. Both churches have laboured together ever since.
The program is quite small since only the basement is useable. We serve dinner on Thursday nights and can accommodate 15 male guests who are also served breakfast the morning after.
We are thankful to all the volunteers who each season labour to bring hope to those who are in need of help.