History of the Open Door:
The Open Door was started in 1988 by a member of St. Stephen's Anglican Church in response to the increasing numbers of people, both homeless and "working poor", who came to the church in search of help. Many of them came looking for food, a listening ear, or warm clothing in winter. In June of that year, a small team of volunteers opened a drop-in centre located in a small room under the church hall where, over the next three months, they dedicated three hundred hours to listening to the visitors and helping them with basic needs.
After this initial effort, St. Stephen's Church decided to continue the ministry. A small budget was earmarked for the work; additional financial support came from local donations and the Anglican Diocese of Montreal.
The ministry was then named The Open Door. Services provided were food and clothing, shelter during the day, counselling, referrals to professional mental health and drug addiction counsellors, literacy training, bathroom and shower facilities, and employment assistance.
Except for a four-year period from 2003 to 2007, The Open Door has operated out of St. Stephen's Anglican Church, located at 4006 Dorchester Boulevard, Westmount, on the corner of René-Lévesque and Atwater. Until 2009, The Open Door has been a mission of St. Stephen's Anglican Church. In 2009, Emmaus Anglican Church partnered with St. Stephen's in running the mission. In 2010, Emmaus Anglican Church accepted sole responsibility for The Open Door.
The Open Door is widely recognized as a valuable asset to the community in serving those who are most vulnerable, most in need and most unable to help themselves
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