Minute for Mission: Brunswick Street Mission
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Agar Smith sits down at his desk in Halifax’s Brunswick Street Mission and wonders who will come through the door that day. Maybe it will be someone who can’t pay their electrical bill after a long winter, someone who needs bus fare to get to a job interview, someone who is baffled by a government letter they can’t read, or a woman and her children fleeing abuse.
Part counsellor, part friend, and part firm parent, Agar is the face of Brunswick Street’s Benevolent Fund. It’s one of many programs at Brunswick Street, and last year it received over 700 requests for help. Less than 10 percent of the people actually needed money; the rest were looking for help navigating the social service and education systems, or with sorting out differences with landlords and even neighbours.
The money for the Benevolent Fund comes from individuals and local churches, but the funding for Brunswick Street’s operations and salaries comes from the Mission and Service Fund.