In our city, I in 3 people who live in poverty are children.1 Inspiring youth to live well and achieve their dreams is one of the most pressing needs we face as a community.

To beat the odds youth need strong social support and opportunities to help them thrive as they learn to think, live, and plan for their futures. Thanks to the support of funders and donors in the community like you, we get to make a lasting impact every day in the lives of young people from many backgrounds. We share our compassion, knowledge and optimism about their future. Why? Because we believe in their ability to overcome any challenges or barriers set in their way.

boys_smaller_cropped for homepage

Each month, over 500 children receive nutritious food through our Good Food Centre that helps them maintain a healthy diet. Without that assistance, kids in low-income families may end up eating less often, and relying on food that is lower quality—which can have a long-term impact on a child’s health and chance to thrive and succeed.

We also support youth through…


The 196 is a new youth program with the goal of empowering 60 young people experiencing poverty to pursue a post-secondary education after completing high school. A collaboration between Mission Services of Hamilton and Mohawk College, The 196 offers youth in our neighbourhood a healthy afterschool snack, a nutritious hot meal, and a homework club four days a week as well as a recreational component led by student leaders at Mohawk College. One day a week after school, youth go up to play basketball and other sports with college’s champion varsity team and then get help from college student leaders with their study skills and homework assignments. We aim to create positive attitudes about education among kids who may not be thinking about attending post-secondary.

We are grateful to the Hamilton Community Foundation, The Children’s Fund, and TransCanada Corporation for supporting the program.


Afterschool Meal Program

Mission Services’ Afterschool Meal Program applies a strengths-based, youth-led approach to community food security. Opened in 2016, the program offers bagged lunches for youth, a drop-in hot meal program for 85 children and youth each weekday, as well as special workshops and activities around healthy eating for parents. Our goal is to improve access to healthy food in order to enhance health outcomes among young people and their families in our neighbourhood.

Funding for Mission Services’ Afterschool Meal Program comes from individual donations in the community as well as the Mischa Weisz Foundation, PC Children’s Charity, Charity of Hope, The Children’s Fund, 100 Men Who Give a Damn, the City of Hamilton’s City Enrichment Fund, and TransCanada Corporation.

Youth Food Programming

In January 2018 Mission Services started a new Youth Food Program, and hired a Youth Food Coordinator thanks to funding from the Edith H. Turner Foundation Fund. The Youth Food Coordinator runs our food literacy and food skills program, Mini Chefs, as well as other food programming activities with the goals of increasing food knowledge, food skills, and healthy habits. Mini Chefs teaches cooking skills and food knowledge by having one head chef lead in the planning, preparation, cooking and serving of a meal.

The goal of the Youth Food Coordinator’s programming is to improve the health and wellness of youth in our community by teaching important lessons, and skills, surrounding food security and healthy eating.


LEAF is an anti-violence program for women and children who have been exposed to domestic violence and is run in collaboration with Mission Services, Good Shepherd and Catholic Family Services. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and/or economic. We work with families that have experienced all types of violence/abuse.

The purpose of LEAF is to help end the cycle of abuse, foster healthy relationships and keep families safe.

LEAFOur program offers

  • 10 week groups for women & children
  • One-to-one support for children ages 4 yrs and up
  • Free and confidential support
  • Free child care during groups
  • Transportation assistance if necessary
  • Dinner before group sessions

Topics for children can include 

  • Understanding and expressing feelings
  • Expressing angry feelings peacefully
  • Talking about family changes
  • Learning about violence and anti-violence
  • Safety planning
  • Safe touches and boundaries
  • Self-esteem

Topics for women can include

  • Defining and understanding abuse
  • Impact of child exposure to abuse
  • Self-esteem and self-care
  • Parenting support
  • Custody, access and legal issues around separation
  • Healthy boundaries
  • Safety planning

If you want to register for LEAF or learn more about the program, call us anytime at:

905-528-5100 ext. 3132

learn how we support women