Andrew Wright has been a housekeeper at the Ottawa Mission for the past 26 years. These are his cleaning tools: a bucket with a down-press wringer and a mop.
In an interview with the CBC, Andrew explains that the one thing that has kept him working at the Ottawa Mission all these years is the fact that “no matter what you do for these guys they are very appreciative of it. I don’t think there’s a week that goes by that I don’t meet one of the residents on the floor or downstairs and they say ‘Thank you for keeping the place clean.’ They say it from their heart, you know?”
Established in 1906 on the foundation of providing food, clothing, and shelter for homeless men, the Ottawa Mission’s programs and services have evolved over the years to meet the ever-changing face of homelessness in Ottawa. Every day they serve an average of 1,136 meals and provide a full range of services including shelter for over 200 men.
Marino, Andrew Wright’s Bucket, Down-press Wringer and Mop (detail), c. 2009, plastic, metal, yarn, Ottawa Mission. Exhibition view from Evocative Objects: Artefacts Unfolding Neighbourhoods, Bytown Museum, Ottawa. Photo: Graham Iddon © Bytown Museum, 2010.
Andrew Wright, Then (The Ottawa Mission), early 1980’s, colour photograph, collection of Andrew Wright.
Andrew Wright, Now (The Ottawa Mission), early 1980’s, colour photograph, collection of Andrew Wright.