Friends of Dismas

The Friends of Dismas is a multi-faith, nondenominational organization that welcomes everyone regardless of religious or criminal convictions.
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Our Vision

To build a community of hope by enabling people of faith to get involved in creative and healing ministry to persons touched by crime.

Here's Who We Support:

Dismas Fellowship Network
The Dismas Fellowship takes the name from the Good Thief on the cross. Our dream for the Dismas Fellowship is to create a safe and welcoming space where ex-prisoners and their friends can find community and follow our friend Jesus. The Dismas Fellowship Network is a group the local Dismas Fellowships that have come together to share ideas and experiences.
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Get Ready For Life Program

Get Ready for Life: is a Friends of Dismas program that offers practical assistance to help reintegrate ex-prisoners who have experienced long periods of incarceration. Through a referral system we strive to determine and provide the most impactful support, within our capabilities, to those who are in need.

For more information please contact us.

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Restorative Housing
Restorative Justice Housing Ontario (RJHO) is an independent charity that works closely with the Friends of Dismas and assists former prisoners by providing safe, affordable housing. This gives them the stable foundation they need to become positive members of their communities. It will also lead to lower rates of re-offence and safer neighbourhoods, which helps the city as a whole.
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Our Story

We started with a simple vision: To build a community of hope by enabling people of faith to get involved in creative and healing activities to persons touched by crime. We are people from a variety of experiences who gather regularly: ex-prisoners and friends who celebrate the grace we have received in Jesus Christ.

Meeting once or twice per month in a growing number of communities across Ontario, volunteers and ex-prisoners gather for a meal, listen to a guest short talk or sharing and then gather in a circle, where we listen to and pray for each other.

See Our Core Values

Start A Fellowship

If you are a community chaplain or involved in Restorative Justice Ministry contact us for more information about how you can start a Dismas Fellowship in your area.
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Our Story

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”  - Mother Teresa

The Friends of Dismas was started in 2007 with the simple idea of reaching out to people of faith and asking them to help those touched by crime, especially those returning from prison after a long sentence, by using the talents (gifts) they have been to help those in need.

People of faith have responded by joining us and praying for individuals, becoming involved in good works like providing meals for the Dismas Fellowships and some have offered the gift of Friendship and many have generously provided financial support.

We continue to appreciate these gifts and we thank everyone who continues to support the our ministry according to the graces that have been given.

Our Story

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Gordie: A Story Of Hope

" It all started with an invitation from a chaplain "

Gordie had two wishes when he met with Community Chaplain Harry Nigh. He wanted to die a free man and he wanted to reconnect with his family. In June 2015, Gordie was celebrating his 10th year of freedom when he died suddenly while walking the streets of Toronto.

His memorial service was held at the Dismas Fellowship Toronto and over 120 people attended including his sisters and many of his nieces and nephews. Gordie died a free man and he had family and friends by his side. The Dismas Fellowship Toronto helped him to live with hope of a better life after years of hopelessness in prison.

Wondering how you can help?

Betty: A Story of Community

" I can't wait for my Dismas Fellowship Meeting "
The moment I walked into my first Dismas Fellowship meeting I felt welcomed. To this day, I can’t wait for the Dismas Fellowship meeting. My past wasn’t so grand but I soon realized that none of that mattered to the people around the Dismas Sharing Circle. I was accepted for ME! The Dismas Fellowship has helped me grow spiritually, emotionally and mentally. This community has been a huge part in my sobriety from drugs and crime. My friends at the Dismas Fellowship have given me hope, strength and faith in myself.

Giving Back to Our Community


During the pandemic lock-downs, a group of ex-offenders decided that they would not allow themselves to waste away, but rather began to collorate, forming the Hamilton Dismas Photo Club.

The video (to the right) is one of their projects they produced to encourage our Dismas Fellowship groups.  The video is a parallel between the transition of Winter to Spring and the transitioning out of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Network News & Articles

Check back regularly to see our news and updates. We often post relevant information for the entire Dismas Fellowship community.

Thanks for visiting today!

We’d love to connect with you! Please take a moment to fill out our Contact Form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Alternatively, we can be reached by phone, toll free, at 1-877-554-1076 where you can leave a message and we will get back to you.