June 17, 2024
Press Coverage

Human Rights Complaint Against the Calgary Drop-In Centre and Dermot Baldwin

Human rights complaint filed by Bogdan Stobiecki against the Drop-In Centre and Dermot Baldwin, Executive Director on April 13, 2008:


The harassment from the Drop-In Centre has been ongoing for years, but the most recent event happened March 30, 2008. On March 30, a Street Church volunteer was ejected from the Calgary Drop-In Centre, for merely making an announcement that free food was ready for the homeless people of the Drop-In Centre to come and enjoy. Repeatedly members of the Street Church are booted out of the Drop-In Centre merely because they are affiliated with the Street Church.


Volunteers of the Street Church are kept from entering the Drop-In Centre for no other reason than that they are volunteers of the Street Church.  For example, there are hundreds of volunteers that come and go from the Drop-In Centre on a monthly basis, without harassment.  However, if a volunteer indicates that they are, or is known to be, a volunteer of Street Church Ministries they are immediately ejected from the building.  An example of this happened as recently as March 30.  On this day, a Street Church volunteer was ejected from the Calgary Drop-In Centre, for merely making an announcement that free food was ready for the homeless people of the Drop-In Centre to come and enjoy.  Another clear example of the distinct difference, in treatment, that a Street Church Member is given, versus other volunteers, can be demonstrated by a southern Alberta family who were long time volunteers with the Drop-In Centre, bringing food to the poor, with a goal to teach their children compassion for those less fortune.  They were allowed access to the poor with no problems until one day the Staff found out that they were volunteering at the Street Church as well.  When they found out, suddenly the family was no longer welcome, nor allowed to enter, in the Drop-In Centre.  This is despite the fact that the volunteer family had food that the poor in the Drop-In Centre relied on in order to be properly fed, as the Drop-In Centre regularly under feeds their poor patrons. 


Another Volunteer was told plainly, "You are associated with the Street Church, you are therefor not allowed in here."  Immediately after telling her this, she was thrown out.  This volunteer is a clean, well mannered, and law abiding citizen, who only wanted to invite the poor to a free barbeque for the poor across the street, yet she encountered yelling, swearing and verbal threats by Drop-In Centre staff, all in the presence of the homeless.  On Monday April 7, 2008, one of the volunteers of Street Church, was harassed and attacked by the Drop-In Centre Staff for simply handing out free pizza to the poor on a public sidewalk outside the grounds of the Drop-In Centre.  Staff, told him that this public sidewalk also belongs to them and that he or any other Street Church volunteer is not allowed to be there. To be clear that there is a prejudice against Street Church, volunteers from the Dream Centre come every Friday, to the Drop-In Centre, bring snacks and other food to the poor and spend about an hour visiting with the poor in the building.  They are not kicked out nor are they harassed by Drop-In Centre staff.

Another example of prejudicial abuse, would be that any homeless man or woman, that is linked to, or is seen talking to a Street Church volunteer, or even in a recent encounter just shaking the hand of a volunteer, are banned from the Drop-In Centre.

A Drop-In Centre supervisor came to Street Church and told them that Dermot Baldwin, Executive Director of the Drop-In Centre, told the staff  that every time they see Street Church members in the park or in the building that they must call the authorities and then throw them out of the building.

Street Church met with Dermot Baldwin, Executive Director of the Drop-In Centre, to try to reconcile whatever differences there were, but this yielded no relief in descrimination against Street Church members.

The reason that we are filing this complaint is that the occurances of abuse are occuring with greater frequency, and we only want to be treated as everyone else who is allowed to come and go from the Drop-In Centre without harassement.

The information presented in this complaint represents only a small sampling of evidence against the Drop-In Centre.  Much more information including video footage, audio recordings, and eye witness accounts are available upon request.

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