“I was 18, pregnant and alone when I found The Salvation Army,” says Shannon. “They helped me to stay strong and move forward.”
The Salvation Army’s Grace Haven in Hamilton, Ont., has supported and assisted pregnant young women in the Hamilton area since 1896.
“I will never forget my story that began at Grace Haven,” says Shannon. “I left my baby’s father because he was a heavy drug user. I was young and had no idea how to be a parent. The Salvation Army changed that.
“At Grace Haven I felt welcomed, safe and capable. In the short time I was at The Salvation Army I learned about resources to help me. I continued my education at Grace Haven and eventually secured an apartment around the corner. I gave birth to my 8lb 10oz baby girl a few months later. After a maternity leave I went back to school.
“Through Grace Haven I completed my high school credits and learned a lot from parenting classes. The teachers were amazing. But the greatest thing was the friends I made. We joined forces to answer questions and how to take good care of our children. To this day I still talk to some of them.
“With help from The Salvation Army I moved on to succeed. My daughter is a happy, healthy 14-year-old and is a competitive gymnast. We have a strong bond. Her father has been gone for 13 years.
“Without Grace Haven I have no idea how my life would have turned out. It’s been a long time, but I want to still say thank you!”