Samantha waters plants on Belkin House rooftop garden

A Former Addict Turns Her Life Around


“I thought I was going to die a drug addict,” says Samantha. “For the better part of 25 years I liked how the drugs made me feel. Then, one day, I reached rock bottom.”

In January 2014 Samantha committed a crime and went to jail. Beaten down by addiction, emptiness, hopelessness and despair, she desperately wanted to improve the direction of her life. “Addiction stole everything from me―my family, my son, my honesty and integrity,” says Samantha. “I wanted to be done with it and knew that if I wanted to succeed it would be through The Salvation Army.”

In January 2015 Samantha checked in to The Salvation Army’s Belkin House, located in the heart of Vancouver. The state-of-the-art facility provides shelter to those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Through a blend of residential programs, ordinary people accomplish heroic things at Belkin House every day.

“Success is something different for everyone,” says Terri Thompson, director of programs. “It may be finding employment or a place to live, going to school or learning responsible behaviour such as getting up in the mornings or keeping appointments.

“At Belkin House we desire that every individual who comes to us will know they are deeply valued and will discover a fresh opportunity for positive change and new life.”

Today, Samantha is going to school to be an addictions counsellor, is working part-time and continues to acknowledge The Salvation Army as her home away from home―the family she never had and so desperately needed.

“The Salvation Army never gave up on me,” says Samantha. “I’ve been clean for over two years. My life is great and I’m not just saying that. I love it!”




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