October 10, 2016 5:13 pm
Updated: October 10, 2016 7:46 pm

Thanksgiving meal at a homeless shelter starts Toronto man’s journey to chef school

WATCH ABOVE: A Toronto man is marking a special anniversary this Thanksgiving and to celebrate, he is giving back to the place that helped him when he needed it most. Christina Stevens reports.


Fernando Mendez Molina is thrilled to be able to help out at The Scott Mission‘s Thanksgiving lunch after he was laid off from his job and lost his apartment five years ago.

“It was exactly by Thanksgiving, Christmas. They opened the doors to me and I was allowed to sleep here – they gave me food also,” he said.

Just as Mendez Molina was getting his life back on track, he was in a bad car accident.

“The car split. My door was in the air and my head was lying on the road and that’s why I had brain surgery – two brain surgeries,” Mendez Molina said.

Mendez Molina said The Scott Mission welcomed him back, fed him and allowed him to recuperate at the facility.

He has since found a home and completed an assistant chef course at George Brown College, where he is now studying to be a fully-certified chef.

Mendez Molina’s story is the kind of story that keeps staff and volunteers at The Scott Mission going.

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The Scott Mission’s CEO said the Thanksgiving meal is so important to show those in need that there is help, hope and someone who cares.

“Today it’s getting colder and the seasons are changing, so it’s hard being homeless,” Peter Duraisami said.

“We try to make it very special for them to walk through this tough season.”

Despite the tough times they’ve been through, those at the lunch are thankful for what little they may have.

“I thank God I am still alive,” Seth Adu, a client at The Scott Mission, said.

Meanwhile, Mendez Molina said he remembers the days when he too was thankful just to be alive.

He said he has even more to be thankful for now, and he shows it by volunteering at a couple of homeless shelters.

“But [at The Scott Mission], I have my heart here. Today it’s Thanksgiving and this is one of my most beautiful days to say thanks to God because they opened the doors to me.”

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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