In 1956, Enos Bearinger, a farmer in Hamilton, helped to rehabilitate a young man in his home. This experience encouraged him to create a place where men experiencing homelessness, addiction, and mental illness could access food, shelter, and social and emotional support. He sold his farm and used the profits to purchase an old candy factory on James Street North.
With the assistance of volunteers and local congregations, the old factory became our Men’s Shelter, where men experiencing homelessness could share a meal, have a place to sleep, and access community supports.
This building remains the location of our men’s emergency shelter, where we continue to offer services to men aged 18 and older.
In 1967, Mission Services opened Inasmuch House, one of Canada’s first shelters for women.
At first, Inasmuch House was a transitional home for women leaving prison. It soon evolved into a shelter for women fleeing violence and abuse. It offered women and their children a place to stay and find clothing, food, counselling and a support system to help them heal and regain a sense of dignity and confidence.
Now, Mission Services offers a variety of services for individuals, families, and youth—from afterschool meal programs to addiction services.
For more than 60 years, all of our volunteers, staff and donors have worked tirelessly to end cycles of violence, poverty, homelessness and forge new bonds of love and compassion in our community.