The Salvation Army in Canada

Posts Tagged: Homelessness

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 […]

Michel stands on bridge with mountains in the backdrop

My Life of Addiction

06
.20

“It was a cloudless, chilly, November day when I stood under the south end of the Pattulo Bridge in Vancouver, scouting for a possible place to sleep,” says Michel. “I’d been homeless for about two months, was sick and tired of my situation, and fantasized about what an alcohol-free life would be like.

“I started drinking at age 15 because it seemed like a fun and adult thing to do. Plus, I was awkward around girls. When I drank it was […]

Friends Santhosh, Kostas and Navid, house bags full of donated clothes in their garage before donating to Salvation Army thrift store

Classmates Collect 75 Bags of Clothes to Help Homeless

06
.16

Inspired by a class discussion and project about privilege versus hardship, 12-year-old Santhosh, and his classmates Kostas and Navid, collected more than 70 bags of clothes that were donated to The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Newmarket, Ont., to help people experiencing homelessness.

“I did my research,” says Santhosh, “and knew that when we donated to The Salvation Army the items would get to the homeless.”  

The trio set a goal of collecting 50 bags of clothes that included T-shirts, pants, […]

Ricky stands in front of Harbour Light

From Drug Abuse to Recovery

06
.01

All he could do was think about his next fix. Then, when Ricky’s family was about to disown him due to his drug addiction, he turned to The Salvation Army for help. “My family was all I had,” says Ricky. “That struck me so hard.”

For over 60 years, The Salvation Army’s Harbour Light in Vancouver has provided a safe place and support for people to address their greatest challenges. Services offer a continuum of care that provides the tools to […]

Rob volunteers and washes dishes in the kitchen at The Salvation Army's Booth Centre in St. Catherines, Ont.

Depression’s Ugly Hold

04
.21

Depression is now the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, with more than 300 million people suffering.

“Depression put me in a dark place,” says Rob, 58. “I couldn’t see a future or an answer for any of the problems in my life. Depression affected my whole world and everything in it.”

The downward spiral

Rob’s life began to spiral out of control when physical injuries prevented him from working as a roofer.

“I tore muscles and tendons in both shoulders,” says Rob. […]

150,000 people access emergency shelters in canada anually. Marguerite sits on a couch in the SAs cedar place

Changing the Stories of Homelessness

02
.24

The numbers are eye-opening. On any given night in Canada, more than 4,000 women and 2,400 children are living in emergency shelters.

“Homelessness is devastating and confusing when you have no choice but to leave an unsafe situation,” says 59-year-old Marguerite. “After a family altercation I ended up couch surfing with friends. Then I moved from shelter to shelter. Today, thanks to The Salvation Army, I’m living in my own apartment.”

In May 2016 Marguerite moved into Cedar Place, a Salvation Army […]

Salvation Army shelter worker consoles female shelter user

Help Shape Canada’s National Housing Strategy

09
.22

The Salvation Army has 53 emergency shelters operating across Canada, which provide 3,359 shelter beds each night for vulnerable men, women, youth and families who are experiencing homelessness.

We’re grateful to partner with the Government of Canada as we explore ways to address homelessness in Canada.

The Canadian government wants to hear from you on how to help shape Canada’s Housing Strategy. The Canadian government believes that all Canadians deserve access to housing that meets their needs and they can afford.

Please log […]

Samantha waters plants on Belkin House rooftop garden

A Former Addict Turns Her Life Around

09
.12

“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 […]

Kevin sits outside Salvation Army shelter

One Actor’s Journey out of Homelessness

08
.23

Less than a year ago, Kevin, an immigrant from Iran, lived on the streets of Vancouver. A former actor in his country, this wasn’t the life he had imagined. He had no home, no money and no family. Today, with help from The Salvation Army, he has a roof over his head and hope for a better future.

“I had many different problems,” says Kevin, 30. “Life was hard. But The Salvation Army changed that.”

In 2006, Kevin was a successful actor […]

Support worker, Charlie, helps people at Centre of Hope

On the Other Side of Homelessness

08
.15

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 […]