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2024 – May

Carmen’s Letter

“Can they get better?” a community member asked me. The question came after I’d given a talk about public policy and homelessness. “I wonder if there is any hope for them to recover and live normal lives.” It was a fair question. 

Here is what I know. I love this work because we get to see people go from suffering to flourishing. One of our dental clinic staff told me about a young man she saw again—and she didn’t even recognize him. He had a haircut, was wearing clean clothes and could look her in the eye for the first time. This is the transformation we work for. 

I also know that the young man died shortly after. After years of living in the cold, malnourished, his body just couldn’t keep going. He died housed, fed and safe. The healthiest he had been in his life. 

Can people get better? Yes. We see dignity, health and hope restored. It amazes me how the body and mind can heal, despite horrendous ailment. The question isn’t “Can they get better?” but “What does flourishing look like for each individual?”

For one person, this may mean freedom from drugs and alcohol. For another, it may mean securing meaningful employment or finding connection and community through art after being isolated and lonely. Flourishing could also mean finding stability for the first time. 

Our work is to come alongside folks, care about them, believe in them, and have hope for them that tomorrow can be better for them than today.

For the love of all,

  • Carmen Rempel Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

Persevering No Matter What

Your Support Gave Steven a Second Chance

When Steven was a baby, he was discovered next to a dumpster not far from his mom. She had just overdosed… Luckily, she survived but Steven was immediately placed in foster care. 

His dad fought hard to get him back, but sadly, he too struggled with addiction. With so much instability in his life at such a young age, it’s no wonder that Steven began experimenting with substances himself. He was barely eleven when he fell in with the wrong crowd and started using substances. 

Unfortunately, things only got harder from there.

“When I was 16, my dad and I were living in tents outside,” he remembers. “My drug 
addiction got really bad and I started drinking heavily. Eventually, I inflamed my liver and had ulcers.”

At 18, he began living with his girlfriend’s family and welcomed his first child into the world. Despite their support, the home was an unpredictable and violent place to live and Steven continued to battle with addiction and homelessness. It was during this time that he visited our Leon Avenue location off and on for shelter, food and care.  

Thanks to donors like you, he could meet his basic needs until he was ready to recover. And today, he’s incredibly proud to be celebrating seven years of sobriety.

“Finally, I succeeded in finding stability and I’ve been working at the shelter for more than a year now. What’s really helping me with my recovery is witnessing addiction. It’s such a reminder of why I quit,” says Steven.

“Kelowna’s Gospel Mission restored my hope, provided me with a job and treated me like an equal. I’ll always be grateful for that.” — Steven

Steven is deeply grateful to donors like you. If he could, he’d shake your hand or even give you a hug! He’d like you to know that when people are at their lowest point, you play a crucial role in providing them with a real opportunity for a second chance. Thank you for making inspiring stories like his possible!

Change someone’s life with a gift today!

A Night to Remember—2024 Charity Art Auction

On January 27th, our first Charity Art Auction raised an impressive $150,000! Grizzli Winery hosted over 200 guests who enjoyed Chef Jeremy’s canapes, award-winning wine, the musical stylings of Graham Ord and Swamp Honey, and remarkable art—all to make a difference.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Grizzli Winery, Artisan Raw Dog Food, Speedpro Signs, Gord Turner Renovations, K96.3, Castanet, Hambleton Galleries, Gallery 421, SOPA Fine Arts and Evan Porter Media. Their support was instrumental in our success.

A standout moment was Clint, a shelter resident at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, sharing his painting of Moraine Lake. His intention with this piece was to spark hope. His work reflects his feelings about being given the opportunity to grow at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.

Thank you to every artist, donor, and attendee. Your participation turned this event into a milestone. Join us in February 2025 for our second annual auction to continue celebrating and supporting through art.

Just Launched: Community Workshops That Teach Compassion

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is now hosting workshops to help people in our community better understand homelessness. We’ve launched Community Coaching to work with businesses, equipping them with the tools necessary to act with kindness and confidence when responding to our neighbours in need. 

With support from the city of Kelowna and the Uptown Rutland Association, our collective goal is to help as many people as possible learn practical ways to respond to someone in distress, all while empowering them to keep their businesses safe.

The workshops will enable a better understanding of homelessness, elevate available supports in Kelowna and illustrate how effective communication can assist when engaging those without a home. Since the Rutland branch of Valley First Credit Union took part in our pilot workshop, we have conducted workshops with 15 other businesses with over 120 participants! But we’ve only gotten started, and are excited to work with even more businesses soon!

Learn more or register for the workshops by emailing

What’s Cooking in Our Kitchen?

Why Good Food Matters & How You Can Help

As the new Food Services Manager, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Jeremy and I’ve been a chef in the Okanagan Valley for 25 years, focusing on zero waste and sustainability. I joined Kelowna’s Gospel Mission because I believe that we can do more to help heal people from the inside with better, healthier food.  

I’m proud to oversee a team of people who truly care. With only three cooks alongside our enthusiastic volunteers, we’re able to serve an incredible 520 meals a day! 

Our goal is to grow this food program into something meaningful that we can all be proud of. Moving away from making do with whatever we have on-hand to creating nutrient-rich meals is critical. Ensuring the most vulnerable members of our community have improved nutrition will mean fewer trips to the doctor, better immune systems and the strength they need for true healing. 

I’m so excited to partner with you to help as many people eat the good food they deserve!

With appreciation,
Jeremy Luypen
Food Service Manager, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

P.S. We urgently need kitchen items like commercial Kitchen Aid mixers, a glass-door freezer, as well as bulk foods, fresh vegetables and dairy products. Email for details on how to make an in-kind donation. Thank you!

Give to address the unique health needs in our community!

Consider donating today.