The Salvation Army in Canada

Posts Tagged: Hope Stories

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

Depression’s Ugly Hold

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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. […]

Julie (left) family services worker sets goals with Leena (right) to get her back on her feet

Single Parent Finds Hope in the Midst of Darkness

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For Leena, single parenting and poverty go hand in hand. “I’m struggling,” says the 38-year-old. “But without The Salvation Army I’d feel worse. Hope wouldn’t be there.”

In 2014, Leena’s husband of 16 years abruptly left the marriage. “I received a phone call at work to say my husband was home collecting his belongings and moving out. I was in complete shock,” says Leena. “He left me with the mortgage payment, bills―everything.”

Leena had to find resources as fast as she could. […]

Grace Haven in Hamilton, Ont.

Single Mom Finds New Life with Help from The Salvation Army

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For many people, the new year is a time to get a fresh start on life.  But picking up the pieces and beginning again isn’t always that easy for young, vulnerable mothers.

“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 […]

Leigh (left) works with Nicole (right) to realize dreams and goals

From Hopelessness to Hope

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A new Salvation Army program is helping Nicole rebuild her life and realize dreams and goals she never thought possible.

“Through a holistic case management approach, our Pathway of Hope program pinpoints root causes that prevent families and children from escaping poverty and helps them move forward in a positive way,” says Claire Dunmore, Social Services Consultant for The Salvation Army.

Nicole, a single parent of five, first came to The Salvation Army in Toronto for assistance in feeding her  young children.

“My […]

Samantha waters plants on Belkin House rooftop garden

A Former Addict Turns Her Life Around

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“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

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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

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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 […]

Booth Packaging client packs tinfoil candle holders

Moving Forward to Independence

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For over 40 years The Salvation Army’s Booth Packaging and Supportive Services in Toronto has provided high quality contract packaging at the right price and on time. Unlike most other packing services, the men and women at Booth Packaging and Supportive Services (Booth Packaging) are participants in a vocational rehabilitation program to improve their work skills and prospects for employment in the community.

Booth Packaging, a work training program for adults with mental health needs and/or developmental disabilities, offers its participants […]

Mom from Nigeria stands in front of trees at Salvation Army Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre

Helping One Mom Start Over Again

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Settling in Calgary brought many new challenges for Gladys and her family. Originally from Nigeria, they had immigrated to the UK, but with high unemployment and uncertainty, they decided to move to Canada to raise their little girl.

“Starting over again was hard,” says Gladys. “The high cost of shipping forced us to leave most of our belongings behind. We had no family or friends in Calgary and had to learn how to embrace a new culture. I had a lot […]

Salvation Army addictions program at Winnipeg Booth Centrechanges lives

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

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Less than a year ago, 52-year-old Neil arrived at The Salvation Army’s addiction treatment program in Winnipeg terrorized by flashbacks from his military days, he was addicted to alcohol and 50 pounds underweight.

 “There were behaviours I couldn’t stop—even though I desperately wanted to,” says Neil. “After more than a decade of battling PTSD and alcoholism, I had to save myself.”

The Downward Spiral

Five years after Neil left the military, PTSD reared its ugly head. In an attempt to numb the pain […]