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Homeless shelter invites former client who is now a successful businessman and humanitarian to speak at their 119th Annual General Meeting
June 13th, 2014

Frank O’Dea who many years ago relied on the services of the Fred Victor Homeless Shelter will be bringing his inspiring story of hope to the donors and frontline workers at this year’s AGM in October. Fred Victor is a multi-service community organization in Toronto, Ontario. Its mission is to provide responsive, accessible and innovative housing and services for people who are experiencing homelessness and poverty, and to advocate for a more equitable society.

The organization was started by Mary Sheffield in 1886 as an outreach mission to unemployed and homeless young men and was transformed into a full mission of the Methodist Churches in 1894 when Industrialist Hart Massey put up the money to build a beautiful new building at the corner of Queen and Jarvis Streets in downtown Toronto.

From its original church roots, the organization has grown to include 10 different locations across the city, 160 staff including relief and part time positions, 200 volunteers annually, and funding support from every sector of society.

In 2011, in addition to permanent, supportive housing, Fred Victor's programs and services include two emergency shelters - one for women only, two frontline drop-in programs - one for women only, employment and training services, housing access and support services, healthcare services and two sites of affordable housing for families, couples and singles.

Fred Victor is known as a leading advocate and innovator when it comes to poverty, housing and homelessness. Each day, more than 1,000 individuals use its programs and services.

Fred Victor was named in memory of the youngest son of former Industrialist and one time benefactor Hart Massey who died in his early twenties from a pulmonary complication. Hart Massey was an industrialist who built the firm that became Massey-Harris, the farm equipment giant that is now Varity. Hart Massey died in Toronto in 1896 and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. He had three sons, Charles, Frederick Victor and Chester, who carried on the family business as well as its multiple cultural and charitable interests. Members of the next generation included Hart's grandsons Vincent Massey, who became Governor General of Canada, and actor Raymond Massey.

A speech by Frank O'Dea will be a highlight of your event.


Frank's inspiring story is retold in his best-selling memoir "When All You Have is Hope", available in bookstores and online. Buy a copy for someone who is important to you.

See and hear excerpts of speeches by Frank O'Dea