I would like to express my disappointment with Gordon Sinclair's recent column regarding the resignation of Siloam Mission's CEO John Mohan (A question of transparency and trust for charity, Dec. 12.)

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This article was published 14/12/2009 (4370 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Opinion

I would like to express my disappointment with Gordon Sinclair's recent column regarding the resignation of Siloam Mission's CEO John Mohan (A question of transparency and trust for charity, Dec. 12.)

On the day of Gordon's visit to Siloam -- on a day he admits he was angry with us for responding to media rather than issuing a press release -- he was encouraged to take a tour of our facility to see for himself the kinds of services we offer as a connecting point between the compassionate and the less fortunate.

Gordon declined our offer.

I would like to highlight what we've always done to convey to our supporters just how our organization functions. We operate with openness and we produce outcomes that have made us the envy of other enterprises of our kind.

We are a member of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities. In addition to our front-line services, we offer transitional support to patrons trying to make connections with other opportunities. We have two employment training programs and serve as a liaison between our patrons and other social services.

As stated in our annual report, Siloam Mission served close to a quarter of a million meals in the last year. We've just learned that compared with this time last year, our kitchen has served 19,000 more meals than it did in the last 12 months. Our shelter had more than 36,000 visits.

Last year, we dealt with more than 17,000 requests for counselling and other referrals, had more than 2,000 participants in our arts program, had more than 14,000 visits to our clothing room and dispatched close to 3,000 emergency food hampers. Our health centre treated more than 630 patients with various illnesses and injuries.

At Siloam Mission, we are proud of our financial stewardship. It is available for anyone to see on our website. We have developed an excellent reputation in our community, and for good reason.

I think it would be helpful for people to know that Siloam is well within the range of what many other missions are doing for executive leadership positions -- and that many who are serving in these positions are working below the scale of what they would be receiving in almost any other enterprise.

I would like to make a few personal remarks in conclusion. What most people don't know about my own transition from broadcasting to Siloam Mission is that I had signed a new contract to stay where I was just four days before my decision to make a change in the direction of my life. My previous employers were wonderfully generous. That new contract would have set my family on a path to a secure financial future.

I did my homework before I joined Siloam Mission. There was not a moment's hesitation when I decided this was where I should be, even though it would be economically challenging.

We have an excellent, competent team that is carrying on our work at an extremely crucial time, even as we grieve the departure of our CEO.

Finally, a word about Gordon Sinclair. My response to his column has nothing to do with his qualities as a journalist. I've known him since the 1980s, when he began writing about my growing radio career. I've saved all the articles and there are a fair number of them.

He has been nothing but fair in his accounts of this former broadcaster.

I just wish he'd taken the tour.

Perhaps his understanding of our work might have provided a greater context for writing about what made him so angry; about why we treated the issue of Mr. Mohan's resignation with such sensitivity.

And why serving ourselves first was the last thing on our minds.

Larry Updike is official spokesman for Siloam Mission.