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.
Beginnings: Drop-in Centre
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.
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.
The Back Door Mission's drop-in centre offered community meals, food pantry items, clothing, referrals to social service agencies, fun events, and a friendly place to gather.
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. We do no religious programming, though we continue to benefit from the loving support of local faith communities.
Transformation to Service Hub
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 hub operating as Project Mission United.
Mission United Project is a low-barrier access hub for essential services, social supports, and primary health care. It provides wrap-around client support services to individuals in Durham Region who are dealing with homelessness, housing insecurity, mental health and addiction concerns, and food access challenges.
Mission United Partners:
Mission United Services:
- Multi-service navigation and assistance
- Medical clinic (Doctor and Nurse Practitioner)
- Crisis and mental health supports
- Daytime safe sleep area
- Harm reduction and supplies
- Withdrawal and addictions management
- Financial and Social Assistance
- Housing supports
- Peer Support and Outreach (PCOP and Back Door Mission)
The Back Door Mission continues with its core offerings such as meals, washrooms, showers, clothing and food pantry items.