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Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:42

In every edition of Christian Life in London, we stive to bring you information on the important work London churches and servant ministries are doing in His name. Thankfully there are many Christian ministries offering programs, services and support to meet (many of) the challenges of people with urgent needs.

Often in our meetings with local church and ministry leaders, the conversations may cover important work of charitable organizations outside of London.

We were recently introduced to one such ministry based in Windsor called Second Chance and its founder, Michael J. Rovers. Rovers summed up their work in a very simple statement, “We go to those in need because everyone deserves hope.”

In this edition, let us tell you about two very active, dedicated ministries, one in London Urban Haven Project and Second Chance in Windsor.

Second Chance Founder - Michael J. Rovers

Second Chance

Cooperating with all local social agencies, Second Chance serves those who are poor, struggling or marginalized from society. An inmate released from prison who needs a ride, a change of clothes, a place to sleep and most of all a second chance. A young mother alone with a baby she doesn’t have money to buy diapers or baby food for, perhaps even food for herself. A cancer patient who doesn’t have the energy or the resources to get to his treatment appointments and then to make a healthy meal.

The list goes on. Those alone dealing with addiction, mental issues, overwhelming life’s circumstances who desperately need not only some nutritious meals but also a live person to spend some time with. Too many men, women and even teens can go for weeks at a time without having personal contact with another person.

Second Chance begins with providing the basics of daily needs providing immediate practical, charitable help to those requesting assistance on a daily basis, including food vouchers, bus tickets, help with dentures and eyeglasses, rides and always spiritual and emotional support. And always delivered to the client by a volunteer.

“Every day our team of 40 volunteers responds to easily at least 30 calls for help. Based on those calls Second Chance connects in person with 15 to 20 families and individuals daily using its two Grand Caravans vehicles, their “offices on wheels” to get their needs met.

Second Chance is a registered charity. The volunteers do not get paid. No one gets paid not even Rovers. “As such we are a pure charity.”

In recent months Second Chance has greatly expanded its furniture donations. Based on both the increase in need and the onset of minimalism, quality gently used furniture is available by the truck load and Second Chance is there with its two trucks and volunteer movers with free pick up from homes and free furniture to clients at no charge for delivery. “Everything we do is free,” says Rovers. We do not charge for anything.” Second Chance owns and operate four vehicles two of which were donated.

The furniture “hotline” is directed by the Board Chairperson Doug Byrne. The furniture team picks up, sorts and moves furniture to fill urgent requests from people typically coming from the Salvation Army, out of two women’s shelters Welcome Center and Hiatus House, those recently out of prison, those new to the area including immigrants, migrants and refugees. “Pretty much anyone who asks we try to meet their needs.”

Beyond practical assistance Second Chance offers guidance and mentoring to individuals and couples to lift them out of social environments that can lead them into trouble without a hand up and a second chance. “Quite a few men and women tend to be very lonely as they may have ‘burned their bridges,” and often have been “written off” by their families. They need a caring, positive, and encouraging presence in their lives,’ says Rovers.

Through all their challenges many clients still must also deal with the bureaucracy of the system. Second Chance walks those in need through, whether it be help with bankruptcies, evictions, registrations, bill payments and appointments, filing income taxes, navigating them through the appropriate agencies. Whatever the need. The Second Chance team of volunteers deal with serious challenges with their clients. Those on welfare face homelessness in which they would lose their welfare. Due to the commodification of housing even if they can find affordable housing there is little money left for food and a heathy diet and nutrition is an issue, which in turn can lead to depression. And many who need employment simply do not have the education for even an entry level job.

“We depend on the community’s generosity to continue to offer help and hope,” said Rovers.

Rovers is a former religious education high school teacher who saw too much and realized he had to make a difference. Because they go directly to clients, Second Chance saves money and to makes better use of the money they receive from donations by operating Second Chance from a home office.

As a result, 94 per cent of all donations go directly to helping people in need. Six percent goes toward operating costs consisting of vehicle maintenance, vehicle and personal insurance, stationery and stamps. With the onset of winter and shortage challenges, gasoline to fuel the cars for up to 50 to 60 personal calls to clients every day has become challenging.

To learn more about Second Chance or to donate directly online go to the website or to donate online or at, by mail or in person. Second Chance Ministry became a registered charity on November 26, 2010, ed Charitable Organization #835113465RR0001 and tax receipts are issued to donors.

If you live in the Greater Windsor Area and would like to volunteer your time, phone. email Rovers at or fill in the form on the website

Urban Haven Founder and Executive Director Pastor Dan Morand

Urban Haven Project

Bringing dignity and hope to those in greatest need in the London and area community.

“The writing on our Urban Haven Project truck says it all,” says Founder and Executive Director Pastor Dan Morand. “We Care About People.”

The Urban Haven Project is a community outreach to those in the greatest need in London with the intent to bring hope and dignity back into the lives of those forgotten by society. Each week Morand and his team drive the Urban Haven truck into London’s low-income neighbourhoods where they set up tables laden with clothing food, necessary heath and household items and more to distribute to families, individuals, seniors and others to meet their challenging needs, while demonstrating hands on the love of Christ. They not only give tangibles but also things you cannot see but can take home; love, hope, a listening ear, encouragement and validation to all those who come to the tables to receive.

“The main goals are to provide a safe, comfortable environment for all who connect with us. To foster friendships, conversation and participation through validation. We work with individuals of all walks of life to give them a plan and purpose for their future.”

“We allow people to take control of their own lives while giving them the training, tools and encouragement to do that. At the very basics we offer a Shop Wise Training Program, a money management and life skills mentorship plan.”

The goal for 2022 is to help those who have been affected by the community damage of two plus years of dealing with Covid 19. “While we don’t specifically deal with homeless, we are looking at better meeting the needs of the homeless, the seniors and families whose lives have been altered by the pandemic as the try to navigate through the government system.”

Ongoing Programs and Services
Founded in 2016, the Urban Haven Project offers a variety of different programs and advocacy services that have resulted in helping over 20,000 people get their lives back on track.

The Urban Haven Project currently operates with no government funding. All the programs and services are provided through community goodwill and financial donations. In order to maintain consistency of assistance it also does not use volunteers. Everyone is staff. Like Second Chance, it has no brick-and-mortar centre for pick ups, but everything is distributed through the neighbourhood set ups at the trucks.

Not to be confused with a travelling food bank, the truck carries food items meant to be top ups between cheques and trips to the food banks.

Program Director Shantel Dengate
Always relational, Morand has developed good working relationships with managers of organizations and retailers within the London community. A large thrift shop provides quality gently used clothing for men, women, children and babies in all seasons at no charge.

In addition to meeting basic physical needs, the Urban Haven Project also meets the needs of the soul. Program Director Shantel Dengate and the Urban Haven team have created a myriad of projects to encourage, educate and care for the community.

Served outside in good weather and inside in community centres, Covid permitting an outreach lunch is served to both participants and shut ins, giving community an opportunity to break bread together enjoying healthy food and warm fellowship.

Some weeks a mobile urban art studio accompanies the truck into the community where budding artists have an opportunity to let their inner artists out at no charge.

Again, through partnering, nursing advice is brought right into the community by Western/Fanshawe Nursing programs that offer students hands on experience while meeting the needs of others.

In partnership with the UWO Law Department, advocacy and social justice assistance is available at no charge for those in need of help.

For those dealing with wrenching issues of addiction and other problems, Urban Haven offers an Overcomers Program, a 12-step transformational program that runs in six-month periods in small group settings. Numerous groups run throughout the city. Sign up is required by contacting Morand.

If learning about the difference the London Urban Haven Project has spoken to your heart you can consider donating to the work. “Whether it's $1, $1,000 or more, all of what we offer to those in need would not be possible without the people that partner with us. When you give, you are part of the solution!” says Morand.

Pastor Dan Morand is committed to bringing dignity and hope to the community, low income especially the marginalized. He learned from one of the best. One of his high school teachers was Michael Rovers, retired religious education teacher at Tecumseh High in Tecumseh now founder and director of Second Chance ministry in Windsor.

Morand is the former senior pastor of Beth-Emmanuel Church. He created and worked an Intention Journey for Men Program, a journey out of homelessness and into life of purpose. He has worked with men with addiction and those in the prison system. “I’ve never met a guy that’s a write off,” he insists. “I just need to have the right people come around them. We’re just here to make people’s lives a little better and have them making better choices.”

To learn more about how you can help Urban Haven, located at 424 Grey St. in London click HERE or Email:
Call 226-235-1575