As Christmas approaches, it’s important to stop and reflect on the joy and blessings in our own life while also being aware of those in our community who are vulnerable, at-risk, and struggling with housing and food insecurity.
Story from our shelter
In the winter of 2017, Joseph Leger was trying to renew his work visa with the desire to continue working in the US where he was residing with his wife. In the process of application, he discovered that he did not meet the new NAFTA requirements for his specific job, resulting in his return to Canada.
Joe’s unexpected new reality evolved into circumstances that left Joe without income, employment, a place to stay, and it resulted in his health being seriously jeopardised. The weather was turning cold outside, and Joe’s only option was to sleep on the streets. With nowhere to turn, Joe called The Salvation Army from a Burger King, the only place he could get Wi-Fi on his phone, adding “I wouldn’t feel safe going anywhere else.” His wife, who was left behind in the US, was glad to hear Joe was in safe hands with The Salvation Army.
Joe loved to cook, however, with no access to kitchen services or food, this avenue of utilizing his skills just wasn’t possible. This was a significant factor in his waning spirit prior to staying at The Salvation Army. Once at the Salvation Army, Joe immediately asked to volunteer in the kitchen. With the staff’s approval, he began volunteering three times a week helping the cooks with whatever they required. “It made me feel more at home, and it gave me purpose.”
With The Salvation Army’s assistance, Joe was provided the appropriate resources to assist him with reinstating his Canadian Citizenship. In addition, he was provided with direction in improving his health issues as well as putting him in touch with affordable housing opportunities.
“I cannot thank The Salvation Army enough for what they assisted me with”. Joe left the Salvation Army Windsor Centre of Hope in 2019. He now has a safe place to call home, and a space to do what he loves most, cook.
This is only one story of many struggling this Christmas.
Our work has a transformational impact, not only on the people that we work with directly, but also on the larger community as a whole. When you help an individual you help a family, when you help a family, you strengthen a community. This is all due to the generosity of donors like you.
Last year, 813 unique people stayed in our shelter, we served 25,503 meals, distributed 268,560 lbs of food, and provided community showers to 173 people.