The Essentials Box Initiative
essentials boxes
Clear Out Your Closet
donated bags
Workshops & Presentations
group of students

The Essentials Box Initiative

We create boxes of small ‘Essentials’ to support rehousing initiatives in Montreal.  Five different boxes are provided to people as they transition out of homelessness or youth care to ensure they have the essentials needed as they enter their new home!

The 5 boxes are:
Kitchen box, bedroom box, bathroom box, cleaning box, groceries box.

Re-housing programs we currently support


Essentials Boxes (kitchen, grocery, cleaning, bedroom and bathroom) delivered to people moving out of homelessness.

Hear what people are saying about The Essentials Box Initiative

The quality of these boxes and the care in preparing them, gives the beneficiary a strong signal that every effort is made to support them in their integration efforts, and it takes place in a spirit that respects the dignity of each beneficiary.

Maison du Père

The difference between the feeling of home and a housing unit, can decide whether a vulnerable person can be stable in housing or not- the boxes allow a comfort that can improve the chances that someone will stay housed over time.

Resilience Montreal

The Essential Boxes allow a person to take possession of their home with the assurance of being able to eat, sleep and shower with dignity the first night

The Old Brewery Mission

Moving into a place after 2 years in shelters is incredible but also unsettling. These boxes have relieved such a stress of my shoulders. They've allowed me to settle nicely and comfortably.  I am immensely grateful I had the chance to receive them and I want to thank anyone who was involved in the process

Box recipient

Clear Out Your Closet

Clear Out Your Closet campaigns identify the items most needed by shelters, we then share this information with our community members.

The items collected are found in most people's closets and are often not being used. We ask for items that are new or gently-used and, where appropriate, washed and folded.

Past campaigns have collected blankets, backpacks, running shoes, travel sized toiletries, t-shirts, jeans. Please visit our social media pages to learn more about the items we are currently collecting.

Hear what people are saying about our Clear Out Your Closet Campaigns

Beyond helping us feed Mission clients, the Bread and Beyond team also donated clothing and in this difficult time their contribution is simply extraordinary.

St Micheal's Mission

Workshops & Presentations

We can join you at your school, workplace or community group to run interactive workshops and presentations. During these events we talk about our work as well as exploring homelessness in our city. We include sessions that aim to change perceptions and look at facts rather than the myths frequently associated with homelessness, we also delve into ways you can get involved and become champions for people experiencing homelessness. These presentations can also be run together with a sandwich making event so you can immediately and directly support the shelters you have just learnt more about. 

Contact us to arrange a workshop or presentation.

Hear what people are saying about our workshops and presentations

Students walked away [from the presentation] understanding that homelessness is not inevitable, that with adequate resources and the collective political will, it is a problem that can be solved. Until then, we can do our part to make life just a little bit better and a little bit easier for people who experience homelessness in Montreal…. Participating in the workshop was a great way to demonstrate to our students that, both individually and collectively, they have the power to make a positive contribution to society and offer hope to some of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in Montreal.

Loyola High School

The presentation was excellent: Students learned a more representative definition of homelessness and the range of factors that can lead to homelessness while also being provided with current statistics showing the magnitude of the issue in Canada. As well, many myths around homelessness were debunked. But, most importantly, Kirstie presented the human side of the issue by sharing some of her encounters with people experiencing homelessness and their stories. Kirstie also made sure to end on a hopeful note by offering concrete solutions to target the problem.

Trafalgar School for Girls

Schools we visited in 2021