The H.O.M.E mission of The Salvation Army Toronto Housing and Homeless Services – Part 4: Excellence

Well, it’s taken me a while to work through the meaning of the different letters in the word ‘H.O.M.E’. As a reminder, I’ve been writing a series of columns regarding our H.O.M.E vision at The Salvation Army’s Toronto Housing and Homeless Supports.

First, it was Housing, then Outcomes, followed by Mission, and now last, but not least, Excellence.

Our website says this under Excellence: “We want to lead the way in creative, innovative approaches to this immense problem of homelessness in a way that demonstrates our desire to do the work as well as possible.”

Homelessness is a major problem, not only in Toronto, but in small towns and big cities all over Canada and the rest of the world.

There is not enough housing to go round.

There is not enough meaningful work for meaningful pay.

Addiction and mental health issues are rampant.

Abuse inside the home is out of control.

More people are bought and sold today in human trafficking than there ever were in the African slave trade.

Things in our world are not looking good right now. Hope is on short supply.

So when one of the 600+ people comes through the doors of one of our shelters, we want to treat them with excellence, not as second class citizens.

We strive for excellence in the way we treat people because they deserve it.

We strive for excellence in our programming, so as to best serve people in their journey towards healthier living because they deserve it.

We strive for excellence hundreds of thousands of meals we serve each year because people deserve it.

We strive for excellence in our building, from the condition of our bathrooms to the cleanliness of our beds because all people deserve it.

We haven’t arrived yet. We are far from perfect.

But we will continue to strive for excellence, to strive for H.O.M.E, as do the best we can to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City”.

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About the author


ChristianWeek Columnist

Dion Oxford is the Mission Strategist for The Salvation Army's five homeless shelters in Toronto, called Housing and Homeless Supports torontohhs.org. Dion along with his wife, Erinn, and daughter, Cate, live in Toronto and are committed to journeying alongside people in the margins of society. He blogs at dionoxford.com