Justice in the City

Bill (a pseudonym, for privacy reasons) is experiencing the consequences of his actions every day. Due to addictions and related issues, he has not had a steady job in over a decade. His marriage dissolved around the same time and he has not seen his now teenage daughter in years. Bill lives with a roommate that scares him in a rundown rooming house, along with critters and insects. After paying rent, his monthly disability payment is gone within a week. Bill has had enough judgment in his life.

So what does justice look like to Bill when he comes to either the Oasis Dufferin Community Centre’s drop-in and community dinner on Tuesdays or its food bank on Wednesdays?

For Bill, justice is being welcomed by name and being invited for a coffee and snack. Justice is playing dominoes with other community members. Justice is helping to set the tables for the meal and then setting up the chairs for the next day’s food bank. Justice is being asked to volunteer at the food bank to help  ther
community members choose their food basket. Justice is participating in a small group Bible study or, if he is not ready for that, a cooking class. Justice is being accepted in a safe place as Bill is reconciled to himself, to others, and to God.

Richard Steinecke, a member of  Dovercourt Baptist Church in Toronto, ON, is a lawyer who volunteers half of his time at the Oasis Dufferin Community Centre. For other examples of justice in the city see Richard’s blog at: oasisdufferin.org/index.php/blog/category/5.