DUO Does Good Work with the Help of Rotary
Melissa Schneider says she’s quite often known as ‘Mama’ on the streets of Oshawa.
“So it is ‘Hey Mama, can I get track pants?’ or ‘Hey Mom, what can I do if I want to get clean, I’m so scared of the pain,’” she says. 
She’s the founder of Do Unto Others, an organization that gives those struggling with homelessness and addiction in Oshawa people to call family. 
Schneider began the DUO journey four years ago out of her vehicle and has been at their building at 454 Simcoe St. S. for two years. 
Through mobile outreach, the organization checks in on everyone they know is homeless to make sure they are safe, especially in the winter. She says there are about 500 people who are housing insecure or homeless in Durham Region.
They also take people to medical appointments, find housing and bring them to DUO’s location for warmth. 
“Our building is not called DUO, it’s called the house. Get inside the house and come home,” says Schneider. 
According to Schneider, no other organization that supports people who are homeless allows pets inside, so she permits them into the building. 
“We have pet food and treats and all that fun stuff. And the owner gets to stay beside their emotional support animal,” says Schneider. 
She adds that any grudges or drama gets left at the door because DUO fosters a safe space. 
“No one can be upset with another, it all stops at the doorway. Once you cross that threshold everybody is family, everybody is friends and we’re here to help each other,” says Schneider. 
She says donations, such as those from the Rotary Club of Whitby, have a huge impact.
“The Rotary Club helped us last year (2021) in a time that we absolutely had nothing,” said Schneider. 
With a donation of $1,000 from the Rotary Club of Whitby, as well as contributions from the community, DUO was able to get through the summer season. 
With these funds, they were able to feed anyone who is hungry, keep their doors open and provide internet for job or house searching.