The Gathering Place is a non-profit, street level, community service centre that provides health and social supports to persons who are homeless or precariously housed.
The Gathering Place has approximately 2000 people or “guests”, who utilize their services. They rely on a volunteer delivery model with over 1000 people who volunteer annually. Their volunteers provide essential services as well access to positive community relationships with a goal of creating a safe and accepting place, and a sense of belonging and empowerment for their guests. The Gathering Place volunteers assist in cooking and serving breakfast and lunch 6 days per week with anywhere from 75 – 125 guests for the morning meal and 250 – 350 attending the mid-day meal.
In The Gathering Place Social Room volunteers offer a hot cup of tea/coffee for their guests and often sit to have a game of cards, work on a puzzle, play a board game, or just talk. Their Clothing Boutique, Hair Salon, and computer room are all run with the help of volunteers who sort and organize used clothing, bedding, dishes, shampoo and cut hair, and help guests stay connected to family or find information.
The Gathering place has established a small team of professionals who provide medical care, personal care and counselling. Many volunteers including teachers work with the guests to improve their literacy, develop resumes, and even prepare them for GED.
The Gathering Place and its many volunteers are rooted in respect and the promotion of personal dignity and care to all persons. Without volunteers, there would be no Gathering Place!