A Human Plea

It’s -40 with a windchill. Not uncommon to see vehicles running for 20 minutes while their owners wait for them to warm up. Bundled faces hide behind toques and hoods, big mitts and parkas.

But what if you live in abject poverty?

What if -40 doesn’t mean you pull your winter parka, toque, and mitts off the shelves?

What if it means you just become more and more cold?

This is the reality for our clients. Today, we provided sleeping bags to clients who are still struggling to survive, sleeping outside. We saw blue hands, cracked hands, frozen faces, and chattering teeth. It’s not right, but it is reality.

We are desperate for winter outerwear. Anything and everything. Please bring us parkas, toques, gloves, long underwear, and sweaters. We will give it to people in need. To our community members struggling to survive, fighting against death by freezing. This is our reality.

We are open Monday-Friday from 9:00-4:30, and we will take any winter outerwear donations. Please bring them by our building at 1925 Osler St and let us clothe the needy.

Thank you,

The Carmichael Outreach team


2013 Carmichael Outreach AGM Board Elections

Last night, at Carmichael Outreach’s AGM, we saw the departure of some long-serving board members and some new members elected. First, we would like to thank Board Chair, Jeff Grub, for nearly 5 years of service to Carmichael Outreach. Jeff has provided a steady hand, while empowering staff and volunteers. Jeff has decided to move on to other opportunities. We are sad to see Jeff leave and wish to say recognize and honor his efforts.

Also resigning from our Board of Directors is John Tzupa. John, much like Jeff, has dedicated a tremendous amount of time to Carmichael Outreach. John was always available to provide a helping hand to ensure that the centre ran smoothly and effectively. We have appreciated John’s availability and efforts for Carmichael.

Finally, we also wish to say thank you to out-going Board member Billie Patterson. Bille often brought a fresh, unique perspective and his perspective was valued and important to Carmichael Outreach’s mission to be an open door and helping hand.

Thank you Jeff, John, and Billie. We have appreciated your service and wish you all the best in the future.


The new Board of Directors for Carmichael Outreach, after last night’s elections, is:

Terms Expiring at 2014 AGM

Mike Staines

Alexis Losie

Ryan Bourlan

Kathleen Wilson (elected to one year term at 2013 AGM)

Terms Expiring at 2015 AGM

Jacqueline Hatherly

Adam Levine

Riva Farrell-Racette

Terms Expiring at 2016 AGM

Kevin Miller (elected at 2013 AGM)

Michael Brown (elected at 2013 AGM)

Dan Lindsay (elected at 2013 AGM)

Congratulations to Dan Lindsay, Michael Brown, Kevin Miller, and Kathleen Wilson on being elected to the Carmichael Outreach Board of Directors!

Marlus Kulas

Public Thank-You to the family and Estate of Marlus Kulas

We would like to publicly thank Marlus Kulas and the Nagy family for their sizeable donation to our organization. Marlus and the Nagy family have been supporters of Carmichael Outreach for many years, and we are truly grateful for such an incredible donation. We couldn’t function as an organization without the thought and care of volunteers and donors in our great community.

Above is a photo of Cora Sellers, our Executive Director, accepting a check from the estate of Marlus Kulas.


A Day to Remember

November 11 is a day that we, as a society, remember the sacrifices of the many men and women who have died in horrific stretches of violent conflict in world history. We are closed today as we reflect on their sacrifice, and as I stood at the Cenotaph in Victoria Park today and reflected on their sacrifices, there was something new for me, and all of us, to consider – Does my remembrance extend beyond the physical sacrifice made by so many? Does my remembrance recognize the values that embraced such sacrifice?

Often we hear the word freedom, and yet freedom doesn’t seem to fully express the virtues and values that our ancestors stood for. They fought for the right to self-determination, to stand up for the oppressed, refused to allow for someone to be told they were less than human due to their ethnic heritage – It was the belief that all life is valuable, that all peoples deserve that freedom, and that the value of community was more powerful and necessary to uphold than the valuations of power and dominance.

As a staff of 9 at Carmichael Outreach, we see the realities of extreme poverty in our city – individuals struggling financially and socially with their life circumstances. Some come for housing support, many come for food or clothing, and all come for the value of community. It is paramount to everything we do. It is so important to honor the sacrifice of the many, and yet it is difficult for us to do so by closing our doors while seeing the struggle of many in our own community. It’s not that their struggle de-legitimizes the sacrifices of those who have died for our freedom; it’s that the very sacrifice of those men and women stands in stark contrast to our daily reality. Closing today means 270+ folks don’t have a warm meal for lunch, and that the 60+ individuals and families we are providing housing support to currently face another day of shelter instability. Being closed today, is a clear reminder to us of the call to uphold values previously affirmed through shed blood the other 364 days of the year.

The existence of the above mentioned circumstances causes us to reflect on the responsibility we have to honor those who gave everything for us by once again coming together as a community to stand for the values of self-determination, the power of community, and to stand in opposition to oppression and the historical de-humanization of those deemed “different” than us. To remember is to work towards these values, to remember is to work for peace*. We will be hard at work again tomorrow, honouring the sacrifices of our brave servicemen and servicewomen, and we invite our fellow community members to participate with us.

Together in Community, Together as Community,

Carmichael Outreach Inc.

* Mennonite Central Committee Canada