Jim (left) receives a bag of food from Salvation Army food bank worker, Marlene Johnston (right)

Homeless and Hungry

07
.10

Jim was 70, penniless and living in a storage locker when he turned to The Salvation Army in Belleville, Ont., for help. “I was in a pit,” says Jim. “And there was only myself to blame.”

Jim was raised in a middle-class family and was a good kid until his teens. Then he started drinking.

“I eventually married,” says Jim. “By then alcohol dominated my life. When I drank I was angry and aggressive. My addiction cost me everything.”

Before long Jim’s losses fell like dominos―first his house, then his step-children, then his marriage. He lived in hotels, stayed with friends and slept under bridges until he went to Alcoholics Anonymous and got straightened out.

“I did well,” says Jim. “I worked at the same job for 20 years―had nice homes and cars. But when I received an inheritance, which could have provided me more financial stability, I let it all slip through my fingers.”

Jim wasn’t disciplined or careful with his inheritance. From high-end restaurants to lavish vacations he soon found he’d incurred debt and didn’t have a cent in the bank.

“I sold my house to pay off debt and lived in my car,” says Jim. “Then I sold my car to get a room. When I couldn’t afford the room, I lived in a storage locker. My life had completely fallen apart.”

Jim swallowed his pride and asked The Salvation Army for help. “Did anybody see me? I’d wonder as I left the food bank,” says Jim. “The staff was helpful and didn’t judge me. They treated me with respect. That was important to me. It was all I had left.

“Today I live in subsidized housing, am on a fixed income and come to The Salvation Army’s food bank and community meals frequently. Without The Salvation Army I’d be extremely hungry.

“I think of the Army as my friend. It is more than a food bank. It has helped me physically and emotionally. As old as I am I still need hope. Their assistance is life itself. I can’t thank them enough.”

 

 

 

 

Related Articles

After school class displays lessons learned in gardening

Planting Seeds of Hope

07
.24

A new community garden at The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope in Kingston, Ont., is providing a way for the community to grow much-needed fruits and vegetables that can be distributed to low-income individuals and families.  

“We used to have a lawn in front of our building, now it’s a thriving community garden,” says Jack Parker, Program Supervisor. “The garden will also serve as a learning opportunity for our after-school program. Children are learning about the health benefits of eating […]

two kids who attend summer camp

Salvation Army Thrift Store Sends 776 Children to Summer Camp

07
.17

The lives of 776 children nationwide will be forever impacted this summer by the generosity of local communities who supported The Salvation Army Thrift Store’s 2017 Send a Kid to Camp campaign.

Taking place over six weeks in 109 Thrift Store locations, the campaign raised  $170,862, a new record from generous donors. With a national goal of providing support to send 600 children to Salvation Army summer camps, the Thrift Store’s  campaign exceeded expectations.

“We were driven to provide fun and valuable […]