Open Arms Mission
Niall Smith is a 12 year old who donated his birthday money to the Open Arms shelter. Listen to him tell us why he did this.
Mike was a young man with hopes and dreams. After a debilitating injury sustained in basic training resulted in him living on $257 a month from 1991-2004 and $558 monthly from 2004-2018, Mike’s life spiraled downward until he became street involved and ultimately homeless throughout various parts of Canada for more than twenty years. After our resource team connected Mike with a veteran affairs representative, it was discovered that he had been entitled to a pension all along. It did not happen overnight, but he is now being duly compensated. With the help of a supportive community, he is now giving back as an emergency shelter volunteer and is currently looking to purchase his first home.
A unique set of circumstances saw Mike land in our community and in our shelter
program. We are thankful to have been a part of the remarkable change in
circumstances in his life. Our year-round Open Arms Resource Centers serve both the
homeless and those in the community at high risk of becoming homeless, helping them
connect with housing, job and educational opportunities and other relevant community
supports as well as providing emergency shelter, food, clothing and other necessary
personal items. Once housing is secured, we are additionally able to supply household
items and furniture and a friendship often continues.
Mike’s story is not unique. Hundreds of people in our region find themselves in similar
situations, and they seldom uncover the resources Mike now has to support his new life.
It may not be a physical injury, but many of our guests and clients have had few
advantages from an early age coupled with any number of challenges including and
contributing to trauma. The result is often that these friends have been pushed to the
margins of society where they have subsequently made a numerous bad choices
including finding solace in substance abuse. Whatever the circumstances that connect
us to families, men, women or youth in crisis, our professional and peer supports are
there for those desiring change at their pace and with their participation.
With your help, people like Mike, along with other men, women and children who have
hit bottom, can find hope, and help, to climb back to a more stable life. By sharing
generously today, you can help them step forward in life with hope again or perhaps for
the first time.