Old Brewery Mission spreads cheer and turkeys on Christmas Day

The Old Brewery Mission is serving its traditional Christmas meal to Montreal's homeless and destitute today.

The Mission says the meals are important reminders that their clients, no matter what their condition, matter - a message that's especially important on Christmas.

Denis Martin Gagnon has been living at the Mission for the past three months as a night-time resident.

He's trying to put his life back together after having, he says, "disappeared" for the past 13 years.

He likes the Mission and adores the people who work there, but knows that this is a very tough time of year for many.

Events like the Christmas meal are just one example of the generosity of the Mission's staff and volunteers.

"People working have good hearts and will try to help you anyway they can," he says. "For me, that's super great. It's fantastic."

The Mission's daytime team leader Vincent Ozrout says he and his colleagues want clients to know that they matter, and that someone is interested in their welfare.

"We try to comfort them as much as we can by our presence, by what we offer, by our services," he says. "And at the same time offer them a hot meal and a hot place to stay."

Ozrout says suicide rates go up during the holidays, but the Christmas meals are one way of allieviating depression and feelings of loneliness.

One Christmas meal, he says, is an effective way of spreading Christmas cheer.

Photo by Patrick Lejtenyi

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