The Back Door Mission works to relieve the burdens of poverty and social dislocation within the economically deprived and street population of Oshawa. Originally a drop-in centre, the Back Door Mission has expanded its services during the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently operating Mission United.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many services closed their doors leaving the people living unsheltered or marginally housed with limited access to supports such as washrooms, showers, food and other resources. In recognition that COVID-19 posed unique and urgent challenges for people in need of help, the Back Door Mission with the support of Simcoe Street United Church opened its available spaces to be used as a collaborative and centralized service operating as Project Mission United.
Mission United, a collaboration with CMHA Durham Nurse Practitioner Led Clinic, Durham Mental Health Services, Region of Durham Health Department, Housing Services Division and Social Services Department (PCOP), Lakeridge Health, AIDS Committee of Durham Region, Carea Community Health Centre, John Howard Society, CDN Protection, and a growing list of community partners provide the following services on Monday-Friday 10am-3pm:
- Multi-service navigation and assistance
- Medical clinic (Doctor and Nurse Practitioner)
- Crisis and mental health supports
- Rest centre
- Harm reduction and supplies
- Withdrawal management
- Financial Assistance
The Back Door Mission continues with its core offerings such as meals, washrooms, clothing and food pantry items and is now open 7 days a week.
The Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty began as an outreach program of Simcoe Street United Church in 1998. Since that time it has grown exponentially with increasing numbers of people coming to its doors for help and community. We currently average about 120 a day.
To better support increased program capacity and broadening of services, the Back Door Mission for the Relief of Poverty incorporated as a separate not-for-profit organization in 2014.
While we're located in the back of Simcoe Street United and are an affiliate of the United Church of Canada, we are otherwise an independent organization. Our focus is entirely on serving the poor. We do no religious programming, though we continue to benefit from the loving support of local church communities.
The concert last Christmas hosted by a local band, the Professors of Funk, led by Derek Giberson raised $5,800 for the Back Door Mission. A beautiful setting (the sanctuary at Simcoe Street United) and a great time had by all!