Benevolent Program: The Benevolent Program is available for those who are facing a crisis and need help managing one-time sizeable bills (Nova Scotia Power or rent). People have an opportunity to receive guidance, community connections and other services so they can prepare to move forward in life. Over 500 people receive support through this program annually, including assistance with bills or investments in changes to their situations.
Breakfast Program: BSM provides a hot breakfast 6 days a week to people who arrive at our door. BSM goes beyond a hot meal each morning offering support, conversation, playing cards, to those who are regular visitors and to those passing though from other provinces. It is a chance to meet people, often for the first time. Approximately 20,000 hot meals are prepared and provided annually.
Food Bank: By providing groceries (bread, crackers, meat/cheeses, vegetables), we can make a huge difference to the volume and nutritional quality of food available to a family. Almost half of our clients are experiencing a temporary crisis and we may only meet them once. However many families who rely on income or disability assistance have no choice but to use food banks regularly to get by. Brunswick Street Mission is part of a network of food banks supported by Feed Nova Scotia. Each year over 2,000 individuals access our weekly food bank.
Clothing Bank: The Brunswick Street Mission has operated a clothing bank for more than 50 years. Clothing is donated by individuals and local businesses. Each year more than 3,000 individuals have accessed necessities for themselves and their families.
Tax Return Program: BSM knows that people living in poverty struggle with keeping records and filling out forms, but thanks to knowledgable volunteers, people can get their income taxes done and qualify for government rebates (GST). The program has consistently grown over the years from 50 returns completed to 1,000 returns completed this past tax season.
Trusteeship Program: The Trusteeship program provides financial stewardship for individuals who have a history of challenges managing their limited income. Besides assisting with money management, the Trusteeship Program helps find housing and provides individualized support with life skills. Depending on need, clients may receive coaching in areas such as budgeting, resume writing and interview skills. Clients are also assisted with problem solving and setting goals, and are often connected with other services and supports that will help them achieve their goals. The program supports approximately 200 clients annually.
Christmas Program: At a time of year that can have a significant impact on individuals and families the Christmas Program provides an opportunity to bring joy to those struggling. Christmas hampers provide a full “turkey with all the trimmings” meal to families with a kitchen. The hot Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve is provided to those struggling with homeless or those who wish to join the Mission family for a festival meal. In early December, the clothing bank transforms into a Christmas “Shop” allowing us to provide individuals with an opportunity to select gifts for their children and family members.
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