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Nov4MonFifty-five people attend first event in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve area. November 4, 2013
In one of Montreal's poorest neighbourhoods, a new monthly breakfast program is reaching out to the community.
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- Territorial News
Le Phare, a mission corps operating out of the Booth Centre, has been serving in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve area for more than two years, delivering food to low-income people twice per month. Invitations to the first breakfast, held in September, were distributed through this program.
The breakfast was prepared by a retired chef who lives at the Booth Centre, and served by a team of three Salvation Army staff and 13 volunteers, including three soldiers and four adherents who have been enrolled since Le Phare officially opened in February 2013. A worship team from the corps was also at the event, playing a mixture of Christian and popular music after the breakfast.
An adherent from Le Phare, who once struggled with addictions and went through a program at the Booth Centre, gave a short testimony. “He used to live in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, and so he was able to witness to the people that there is a way out of the cycle of poverty and addiction,” says Captain Betty Lessard, community ministries officer, Booth Centre.
Fifty-five people attended the first breakfast and Captain Lessard expects that number to grow.
“We want to develop our ministry in the neighbourhood, so the breakfast program is a way of making contact with people,” she says. “It's getting to know them, taking care of their physical needs and doing soft evangelization.”
On the morning of the first event, a volunteer invited a homeless man who was passing by to come in and have breakfast.
“After the breakfast, he was weeping,” says Captain Lessard. “He was hungry and we offered him food. He could see God's hand in it.”