The Mustard Seed
Our Story Why We Exist
Darren moved into The Mustard Seed’s 1010 Centre May 2014. He has struggled with addiction most of his life, and as a result he has lived on and off the streets of Calgary for years.
He says that when he finally landed at the 1010 Centre, an apartment complex which offers permanent supportive housing. It was the place he needed to start making positive and lasting changes in his life. Residents at The Mustard Seed’s housing programs receive ongoing support because our goal is not only to fine men and women a safe place to live – it is also help them make positive sustainable changes in their lives. We meet our guests and residents where they are at in life. We understand that the causes of homelessness are multifaceted, so our services are designed to help them rebuild their lives, meeting their immediate needs and providing opportunities for the future. We offer our services with open hands and unconditional love.
The Mustard Seed provides housing for nearly 300 men and women in Calgary. We are also able to do that because of our compassionate donors.
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field: it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches." Matthew 13:31-32
Our Impact What We Do
The Mustard Seed has helped people experiencing poverty and homelessness in Alberta since the ’80s. Our goal is to help people move from a place of homelessness and isolation to a place of wholeness and community. Through three decades of service to Calgary's most vulnerable, The Mustard Seed has continued to evolve to meet the city’s diverse needs.
Our Mission is to build hope and wellbeing for our most vulnerable citizens through Jesus’ love.
Our programs go beyond basic services, to include other support services such as employment, health and wellness, spiritual care, as well as affordable housing for people in need.
- At our shelter, we provide a place to sleep for up to 370 guests a night and serve 1,000 meals daily.
- More than 300 people have a place to call home through our housing programs.
- 200 people are connected to jobs through our employment program.
The Mustard Seed’s work extends beyond Calgary to include Edmonton and Red Deer most recently. Edmonton’s operations commenced as early as 1988 and now include an expansive range of services designed to provide a holistic support for low-income individuals and families.
- The Mustard Seed Edmonton provides food, clothing, counselling, housing assistance, employment coaching and spiritual care to Edmonton’s men and women in need.
- The Mustard Seed Red Deer opened its doors to serve the city’s most vulnerable citizens in July 2016. We provide more than 2,000 hot, healthy and nutritious meals three days a week. In addition, The Mustard Seed Red Deer offers a school lunch program geared towards providing nutritious mid-day meals to grade 1 to 12 students in Red Deer’s public and Catholic schools.
Our Programs How We Do It
The Mustard Seed offers services that help people make positive and lasting changes in their lives. We know that by offering support and opportunities to people experiencing poverty and homelessness, they will be empowered to rebuild their lives.
Basic Services: We meet the immediate needs of men and women experiencing homelessness by providing emergency shelter, food, clothing, hot showers and hygiene supplies.
Housing: We help guests find affordable and sustainable housing through Aftercare (case management and housing support), Permanent Supportive Housing (independent or communal living with trained staff support) and Housing Advocacy (system navigation and help finding external funding and housing).
Health and Wellness: At the Wellness Centre, Calgarians experiencing poverty and homelessness have access to physical and mental healthcare services that support their efforts to rebuild their lives and restore their overall wellbeing.
Employment: We help our clients toward their goals by providing employment coaching, job search assistance, resume, cover letter, interview preparation and training opportunities.
Spiritual Care: As a Christian organization, spiritual care is foundational to what we do. Our chaplaincy provides prayer, bible studies, Sunday services and emotional support to those who desire it.
Our Requests What You Can Do
We count on the support of thousands of donors and volunteers who work with us every year. Your generous gift, whether it comes in the form of donation of funds, time or talent, directly impacts those who need it the most. It makes invaluable resources available to men and women who are searching for hope.
Donate: Your financial gift can mean food, clothing, shelter, jobs, homes and recovery for individuals in our community. An investment in our programs gives hope to those who need it most. We offer a hot breakfast, dinner and provide a bagged lunch for all shelter guests. As many as 40% of our guests have jobs, but cannot afford a place to live.
Sponsor a meal: It costs just $3.51 to provide a single meal for someone in need, and $1,000 to sponsor a meal for all the guests at our shelter. We serve over 1,000 meals each day. We are able to provide nutritious meals 365 days a year because of the continuous support we receive from the community.
Volunteer: 16,200 individuals volunteered at The Mustard Seed in 2016. Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to provide some of our most important services to people in need. Opportunities include serving meals, sorting donations, supervising the computer lab, and many more. You can also share your interests or professional skills with our volunteers.
Urgently Needed Items: We regularly update our list of urgently needed items - coats, soap, shampoo, new underwear and other items in high demand by the individuals we serve. We are grateful for compassionate individuals willing to donate these essential goods.