The Brunswick Street Mission provides several services and direct supports listed here. Some of our programs have different eligibility requirements.
The Brunswick Street Mission seeks to address poverty, and our services are primarily meant for those who struggle with poverty. Different programs may address different aspects of poverty. For example, our hot breakfast is ideal for persons who are homeless, whereas the Food Bank is for people who have a home and may not be able to attend programs.
Nervous about seeking help?
If you’ve never had to ask for help before, we hope this will make it easier:
- We promote acceptance, not judgment. We know that a person seeking help may have complicated histories and may be struggling with addiction, mental illness, disability and may have past “mistakes” to overcome.
- We respect your privacy. We try to keep things simple and avoid putting people through unnecessary processes. Some of our programs do require certain information or applications – we promise your information will only be disclosed to others with your permission.
- We welcome and celebrate the differences that make us human. We will not treat you differently or deny support based on appearance, race, religion or gender-identification.
- While we can’t promise that we will always be able to help, we can promise to welcome you, treat you with respect and do our very best.
The dining room is accessed by an outdoor staircase. A wheelchair accessible side door can be opened for special needs; it is accessed by a fairly steep driveway off Barrington Street and must be arranged in advance by calling the office. The food bank operates on the street level and is accessible by a small exterior ramp on Brunswick Street.
Most clothing is on racks or in bins and visitors are encouraged to “shop”. We do not limit goods and you can find things arranged by men’s, women and children.
Besides clothing, we also keep bedding, towels and kitchen necessities for those who may be moving to a shelter or to their own apartment or home. There is no application process – all are welcome.
For general information about the Clothing Bank click here.
You must pre-register by phone. (see below) The Food Bank provides a grocery order to assist people on limited income who do have a home. Feed Nova Scotia delivers most of the food on Thursday morning and we share it among those who have registered. The food provided depends on what has been donated and often includes vegetables and bread but rarely meat or dairy. The amount we provide is good for a few days. People can only receive food support once a month and it is meant to supplement your food budget. Sometimes there is not enough to help everyone – that’s why we ask you to pre- register.
Proof of Address
We do require a Nova Scotia health card and proof of address but not income. You may register others living in the same home but need to bring a Nova Scotia health card for all children and adults as well as proof of address. Call ahead if you are new to Nova Scotia and do not yet have a health card. You will also have to sign a paper agreeing to be entered into a database maintained by Feed Nova Scotia which ensures everyone receives a fair share of available food.
For general information about the Food Bank click here.
INCOME TAX PROGRAM
Call for availability (see below). We offer a free volunteer- based Income Tax Program during the tax season. We can solve some of the common challenges like lost documents however the accuracy of the return and the amount of the refund may be less if T4s and T5s are not available. We can also catch up on multiple years.
Our goal is to make the process as simple as possible. You will need to provide your name, a Social Insurance Number and date of birth. You must also sign a release form allowing the Mission to process your return.
Who is it for?
The service is for low income individuals and their families. We are not ableto complete business returns but may be able to assist if you are self-employed.
For general information about Income Tax Program click here.
A trustee is someone who receives your income and pays your most important bills first before giving you the remainder. The Trusteeship Program may help you manage your spending money and prevent serious events like having your power cut off that could lead to an eviction. The Trustee can also help negotiate with the landlord especially if you have no references or didn’t pay a previous landlord. If you have fallen behind in your present rent, we can negotiate a payment plan that prevents eviction. If you have fallen behind on a power bill, we can negotiate a plan with Nova Scotia Power that gives you more time to pay a bill.
Who is it for?
Trusteeship is for people on social assistance and most clients are referred to this program by their case worker. It’s very helpful for people who struggle with an addiction, for people who are vulnerable and for those who are forced to “rob Peter to pay Paul.” It is not for everyone but come in for a chat about it.
For general information about the Trusteeship Program click here.
BENEVOLENT PROGRAM (FINANCIAL CRISIS)
This program helps those who have a one-time urgent financial crisis. There isn’t a formal definition of what crisis we help with but the most common are rent or power bills. We may also be able to help with an employment expense like work-boots or registration fees or expenses involved in leaving a violent partner.
Who is it for?
People on a low income who are at risk if they can’t find help. If we can’t help you we may refer you to some where appropriate like the Salvation Army Good Neighbor Program. If you are facing Ongoing problems it may mean the Trustee program (above) is better suited for you. If you are seeking financial help, we may need to talk to people who can confirm the facts as we make a determination. We never give money directly to the person asking but do provide it directly to the company such as the landlord or Nova Scotia Power.
For general information about the Benevolent Program click here.
The Brunswick Street Mission
2107 Brunswick Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3K 2Y4
Phone: 902 423 4605
Fax: 902 423 4838