Charlie Pittman was on his way to end his life when he took a detour into the doors of The Salvation Army men’s shelter in Halifax. It wasn’t easy to walk through the doors and say he needed help, but he’s grateful he did.
“I had been sleeping outside on a park bench for four days and was having suicidal thoughts,” says Charlie. “I had lost everything I owned, not due to an addiction but because of severe health issues. People told me to go to The Salvation Army, but my depression left me feeling like no one would be able to help me. I was planning on jumping off the MacDonald Bridge, but at the last minute I ended up going to The Salvation Army. It was the best thing I could’ve done for myself. “
When Charlie walked through the doors of The Salvation Army the intake worker told him to take things one day at a time. Through hard work and support from The Salvation Army Charlie found stability, a job and a new home.
“If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army, I wouldn’t be here today,” says Charlie.
Today Charlie is a client support worker at The Salvation Army Centre of Hope in Halifax where he found hope and help 12 years ago.
“I help people who come in to utilize our services, get them to appointments and begin the process of helping them back on their feet.
“I not only complete the intake application, it is my job to find out what brings the person in. People come to us for a variety of reasons such as job loss, addictions or mental health issues. Once you find out the reason, you can help them get the support they need.”
Charlie attributes his ability to connect with clients to his own experience of homelessness.
“I treat the clients like real people,” says Charlie. “When I go home at the end of the day, I know it was a good day if I’ve put a smile on a client’s face. That’s worth more than money to me.”