Companionship is a justice issue.
It’s a basic human need, often neglected.
It’s also a need that faith communities are uniquely positioned to meet.
Through community visits to people marginalized by poverty, mental illness, and addictions, BHM co-creates communities of welcome and inclusion.
Boarding Homes Ministry alleviates poverty of companionship. We practice inclusion by visiting marginalized people in low-income housing. Most of the people we visit are isolated due to the stigma of mental illness, addictions, and poverty. Together, we co-create relationships of welcome, faithfulness and delight. That welcome extends into the wider community, through services like our workshop on mental health inclusion for faith communities.
Our work begins with weekly or biweekly meetings in boarding homes. Over food, conversation, and laughter, we forge bonds of friendship. The mission is simple: agenda-free presence. Boarding home residents have frequent visits from health care and law enforcement officers, people whose responsibilities include many assessments. While important, this can be distancing. So BHM’s work is based on connection first.
Our ministry has the privilege of having no agenda other than to appreciate the people we encounter. We visit. We eat together. And we receive each other’s gifts.
Much can be expressed through loving and generous action. A feast says “you are abundantly loved”. A butter tart for a birthday says “you are precious”. We practice reverence for each other.
BHM has been a multi-faith ministry since the beginning, serving marginalized people of many faiths and backgrounds. The ministry does not proselytize. Our work is grounded in principles of inclusion, justice, and lovingkindness, and we live these principles through interfaith collaboration. BHM has been faithfully supported by the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Through education and community connection, we can change perceptions of mental illness and end the isolation.
Boarding Homes Ministry
73 Simcoe Street
Toronto, Ontario, M5J 1W9