The people who help make Life for the Nations in Cambridge such an amazing place, from left to right Michael DaSilva, Diana Boardman, Patricia Maltais, Dawn Mills, Maria Scqueira, C.J. Pedwell.
For most residents of Galt, you have probably driven by 37 Wellington St. in the downtown core many times, and it probably wouldn’t be a stretch to say that you never really noticed the quaint unassuming building that sits there. But for the scores of people who find refuge and solace within its walls it represents all that is good in people today.
Within the walls of that building resides Life for the Nations which is a mission started a mere year ago by Maria Scqueira who, with the help of volunteers such as Patricia Maltais, Diana Boardman, Dawn Mills, Michael DaSilva, Andrew Sturm and Monique Fournier, they put on a lunch every other Saturday from 12-1 p.m., which feeds 30 to 40 people on average.
Its purpose is to help the homeless and those who just need a helping hand, not only fill an empty stomach but be treated with the dignity and respect they so desperately need and deserve.
“The food bank does a lunch as well as does Bridges, and a couple of other churches in the area on different days, so we try to fill in that gap when there’s no food available for these people,” said Mills.
As well as the lunches, Patricia Maltais opens the doors on a daily basis, Monday through Thursday from 12 to 7 p.m. where she offers moral support, reading classes and workshops in wellness and health as well as feed anyone who shows up hungry.
“If anyone turns up here hungry we always have food for them, we never turn anyone away hungry. We want to do lunches on Thursdays in the near future as well, we just need the funds to do so, the more days we can open the better for these people,” Scqueira said.
Upstairs from the mission is the House of Prayer which holds bible studies in both English and Portuguese as well as church services in both languages on Sundays.
The mission just wants to be there for the countless people who, for whatever reason, find themselves without a place to turn for help. Be it the person with alcohol or drug addiction or one with mental issues, who find themselves alone and just wanting someone to help them find a way back. They all have a name and a story behind that face.
“We also understand that people who are homeless are accountable for their lives as well, but we are hoping that through the workshops and other things planned here in the near future we can give people a hand-up instead of a handout. Knowledge is power, after all,” said Boardman.
Anyone looking to assist the Life For the Nations Mission is asked to drop off non-perishable food items at the location as well as any small donation, which would help them further their cause.
House of Prayer church at 37 Wellington St. in Cambridge on June 27, 2012 and some of the people that help make it possible, from left to right: Andrew Sturm, Monique Fornier, Maria Scqueira, Patricia Maltais, Michael DaSilva.