Brian

It has been several years since Brian has been able to cite his own address. In the past, Brian struggled with a number of life issues which eventually left him living on the streets and in shelters. MHO is proud to be one of the many community services that has had an opportunity to support Brian on his road to success.

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Family, ImpactAshley Reiter
Rafael, Honduras

I was selected to participate in a youth exchange between Canada and Honduras. Due to my work, I was threatened by individuals that discriminated against my ethnic group. Shortly after, my cousin was assassinated in Honduras. It is for this reason that I decided to seek refuge in Canada. I spent five months homeless and in poor conditions in Canada. After some time, I finally found Matthew House Ottawa. There, I found a family, peace, security and emotional and spiritual support.

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Refugee, ImpactAshley Reiter
Rob & Donna

We continue to learn a great deal from these precious people as they tell us their stories and teach us about their cultures. Our tastes have changed—literally—so that if you were to look in our pantry, you’d have no idea where we’re from. Our experiences have ranged from eating pacha (boiled lamb’s head) and fou-fou to attending immigration hearings; from teaching English to editing grad school applications. We have enjoyed introducing newcomers to turkey and cranberries, teaching them about our city, and telling them the Christmas story.

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VolunteerAshley Reiter
Meredith (Board Chair)

I began to go to Matthew House Board meetings in the fall of 2014 on the invitation of our beloved director, Miriam Rawson. I felt out of my comfort zone, but decided that, since I had prayed about the decision of pursuing my involvement with Matthew House, I would embrace the discomfort as an area of growth in my life. I was in a new place in my life, having left the full-time teaching profession of 25 years, and was seeking to carve out space to serve others in a fresh way.

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Volunteer, BoardAshley Reiter
Kylie

When I returned from volunteering overseas this year I wanted to be able to continue to work in the human rights field and MHO was a natural fit. It is a perfect complement to the abstract and theoretical knowledge I acquired in my years of schooling. I am still a fairly new volunteer at MHO but it already feels like home. I love going to my volunteer shift once a week. The staff and the residents are all incredible people and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with each of them.

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VolunteerAshley Reiter
Dina (Former Iraqi Refugee)

When I came to Canada, I came as a refugee with my family because of war in Iraq, and the threats we had received because we practice a different religion than others in Iraq. After about 2 years, a private agency sponsored us to come to Canada with 18 other refugees. It was difficult for me and my family to come to a new country, but the good thing that it was safer and the laws in Canada allow us to be accepted as we are. My own experience as a refugee is why I wanted to work with Matthew House Ottawa. I want newcomers to live in Canada, be safe, and feel welcome. 

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VolunteerAshley Reiter
Handy Andy

As an alcoholic in early sobriety, volunteering has been one of the single most important aspects of my new "recovery plan" - recently celebrating 3 months continued sobriety.  It has reminded me of my personable nature and natural capabilities and put my education and life experience to use without expectation of return.  I'm relearning self-respect, responsibility, respect, vigilance, self-control, vision, commitment, routine, motivation and focus, that my opinion does matter.

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VolunteerAshley Reiter
Andrea

My name is Andrea McLaren and I’m the Booking Coordinator for MHO:FB. I speak with clients wishing to shop for household items, Referring Agents who inevitably use our service to help their clients and I liaise with our other volunteers who help our clients once they arrive at our location. I have had many different experiences while working…most of them pleasant…on occasion I have been in difficult situations but that is par for the course of volunteering…and on those days you say to yourself, “What am I doing here? ” and then the next call comes in and it all makes sense again.

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VolunteerAshley Reiter