“I like to volunteer here now. I can give back to the place that helped me when I needed it the most.” - Frank
“I couldn’t afford a place to sleep and food and school at the same time. I was deathly afraid of becoming homeless, but if I wanted to finish school, I had no other choice. The people here were so kind and nice...they really cared about me.” - Mary
“I used to have a bad reputation. I got into fights all the time. But now that I’m sober, I’m cleaning up my life. And I’m trying to be the dad my daughters need me to be.” - Harry
“When I wear my vest and go out to clean the streets, people don’t see me as homeless or addicted. They see me as a worker. And that makes me feel good.” - Shannon
“Life can be disappointing, and a heartache. But it always helps to keep a smile on your face.” - Dexter
“I started using drugs to forget my past. I needed to make the pain go away. But it only made things worse. I lost
my job and my apartment. When I came here, I started to heal.” - Jackie
Frank was the youngest of five children in a low-income family.
As he got older, he was expected to follow his older siblings and work to support the family. So after ninth grade, he quit school and found a job.
As an adult Frank continued working. But with no high school education, he could only find low paying jobs — jobs that forced him to live paycheque to paycheque.
If an unexpected expense would come up, Frank would miss a rent payment.
That’s how he got evicted. And that’s how he ended up at Siloam Mission.
But he didn’t give up. He saved up, and got another apartment — only to get injured on the job and lose his ability to work.
That’s when Frank’s Transition Services worker at Siloam Mission helped him find affordable, supportive housing.
Although he is still limited by his injury, Frank now comes to Siloam Mission as a volunteer. He helps clear and wash tables, and often stays after his shifts to chat and have coffee with the friends he has met here over the years.
Mary always liked working with her hands.
After she graduated high school, Mary contracted herself out as a general handyman. She had a steady flow of jobs, and the pay allowed her
But, what she really wanted to do was go to school to be a carpenter.
Using all of her savings, she moved to a rooming house in Winnipeg and began school. That’s when Mary realized most of her housemates used drugs and drank at all hours of the day.
Even though she never touched the drugs, the landlord got fed up and kicked everyone out — including Mary.
That night, she found herself sleeping in Siloam Mission’s emergency overnight shelter. With no money for an apartment, Mary made a tough choice: she would finish school, even if it meant being homeless.
Today, Mary has achieved her certificate. She found an apprenticeship placement. She is working toward her Red Seal certification. And she has an apartment of her own.
All because you cared enough to lend a helping hand.
Harry’s family is everything to him.
So, five years ago when his wife told him that she was divorcing him and wanted full custody of their three daughters, it shattered him.
“I started drinking. At night I would sit by the window and watch the cars go by,” Harry says. “I would drink, and in the morning, I would pick myself up and go about my day.”
The alcohol brought out a temper in Harry that used to only be there on his worst days.
He constantly got into fights. During one, the police were called. Harry was arrested, and spent the next six months in jail.
When he was released, the prison guards dropped him off in Winnipeg. That night, he slept on the street.
The next day, someone pointed him to Siloam Mission.
He was arrested again after his ex-wife caught him trying to see their children without her permission. It was after this that Harry realized that if he wanted to see them again, he needed help.
Harry asked his transition services worker at Siloam to refer him to an addictions treatment program.
Today, Harry is working hard to keep up his sobriety so that he can make peace with his ex-wife. And he is reuniting with his daughters.
Shannon spent the first 12 years of her life in an abusive home.
One day in gym class, she was taken aside and told she would be staying with a new family – and that night, she met her first of many foster parents.
Shannon was bumped from home to home. Each change of house came with a change of school.
By the time Shannon turned 18 and was forced out of the system to live on her own, she had only finished grade ten.
With no high school diploma, she had trouble finding a job. And her childhood trauma caught up with her. She turned to alcohol to cope.
With no place to go, Shannon soon found her way to Siloam Mission.
She joined the Mission Off the Streets Team (MOST), a casual work program offering real work experience and a paycheque.
Now she works with the team whenever she can, cleaning streets in downtown Winnipeg.
Shannon says the first time that someone thanked her for her work, she was amazed. And she is starting to see herself differently, too.
She is gaining confidence in her own abilities, her own courage and her own potential.
She’s on the road to recovery…with a little bit of help from friends like you.
Dexter has lived with a debilitating mental health illness for most of his life.
His parents grew up in the residential school system. And even though they tried to shield him from their own trauma and pain, people who are hurting often lash out at other people.
Dexter manages his depression with medication. But he stops taking it when he feels healthier — or can’t afford it anymore.
That’s what had happened when he first arrived at Siloam Mission.
He was battling a bout of depression. He had lost his job, his apartment and his will to go on.
But through the Saul Sair Health Centre, he connected with health care professionals again — and got the support and medication he needed.
Today Dexter is regaining his optimism. And he has more good days than bad days; more moments of hope than despair.
When she turned 18, Jackie left the reserve she grew up in and moved to Winnipeg.
She was running away from a lifetime of physical and sexual abuse. She was desperate to leave the pain behind and start a new life…a simpler life.
But life in the city wasn’t easy. The pain of her traumatic childhood followed her wherever she went.
Jackie became addicted to drugs. She had used drugs for fun during high school, but now she fell into addictions to escape her trauma.
Soon, she couldn’t function well enough to hold down a job. Then she was evicted from her apartment.
Out of options, Jackie ended up at Siloam Mission. She noticed a sign in the Drop-In Centre. It was an invite for a soapstone carving workshop in the Art Room.
Jackie remembered that her grandfather used to carve animals out of soapstone. Out of curiosity, she went.
It ended up being her entry point into healing…a moment of hope.
Jackie still has the long road of recovery ahead of her. But thanks to the spiritual care, art therapy and counseling she found at Siloam Mission, she is taking the first steps.
Thanks to you.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy and trust of those in our community, we do not publish their photos or names on our website. Photos in this section are stock photos, and names have been changed.