A warm cup of coffee is a lot more than just a beverage when it comes to bringing hospitality to those experiencing homelessness.
October 1 is National Coffee Day in Canada.
Able to celebrate coffee as more than just a warm beverage, Siloam Mission in Winnipeg says that coffee is often the first point of connection and acts as a bridge to those who come inside.
"Here we often say that hope starts with a meal but in many cases, it really starts with a cup of coffee," says Luke Thiessen, the Communications Manager at Siloam Mission.
During a normal year, Siloam gives away over a million cups of coffee to the people who come through their doors.
"Especially as we get into the colder months, I hear from a lot of folks who have come through and used our services that in many cases, their first interaction was that they came in to get out of the cold and had a warm cup of coffee."
In many cases, this is the starting point for people dealing with homelessness to connect with someone at Siloam and the many services they offer.
"Starting with that cup of coffee, it's how we build relationships in many cases here. Whether it's their first time coming here or just part of the services they rely on, it's a big part of the reason why they choose to come here."
Siloam Mission is a Christian humanitarian organization that alleviates hardships & provides transition opportunities. On August 12 this year, the organization opened a brand new facility, the Buhler Centre.
"They can get what they need, whether that's meals, a coffee, and from there we are able to connect with people and help them get back on their feet."
Due to the pandemic, the centre has cut back on the amount of coffee they've been able to give, but hope to get some disposable cups shortly so they can hand it out more freely.