When Brian first came to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, he was recovering from an accident where he’d broken both his legs. He hadn’t been able to walk for three months! During that time, he was hospitalized and then in a rehabilitation program. When he was released from the hospital, he returned home to find that he’d been evicted.
All of his belongings had been thrown out. At 71 years old, Brian found himself with nothing, and nowhere to sleep. He walked to the closest motel and checked in, but he was only on a limited senior’s pension, so his funds soon ran dry.
He found a room for cheap rent, but that too was short-lived. After just six months, the police showed up at his door to evict him. The bank had foreclosed on the property, while Brian’s landlord using his rent payments on alcohol and drugs.
The police were kind enough to tell Brian about Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and so, although he had many reservations, he went there next.
“I am deeply thankful to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and everyone who helped me turn my life around and held hope for me, even though I’m 71! ” – Brian
Once Brian got here, he was surprised to find how quickly he made new and true friends. His smile would light up the room when he greeted them. He realized that he’d been living for many years without a much-needed support system. Our staff here at the Mission became his family and helped him get back on track.
In particular, Brian’s caseworker Terra encouraged him to get back on his feet, and she continues to support him today—along with the rest of the Mission staff through their prayers.
With the help of his new support network, Brian was able to find a new place to live with dignity and respect.
“I still go back to the Mission regularly, just to enjoy a coffee while catching up with my friends,” he says. “I am deeply thankful to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and everyone who helped me turn my life around and held hope for me, even though I’m 71!”
Brian is not an anomaly at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. In fact, we have several seniors who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, because they’ve fallen through the cracks of the system.
Accessing services and housing is already very difficult for people who have been struggling with poverty. And the transition of becoming a senior just adds further complications. Some of the typical obstacles include getting an assessment through continuing care that will set them up with further resources, navigating electronic forms to access government agencies, and finding a family doctor who will treat according to a care plan.
By coming alongside seniors in need, we’re able to provide community—the missing piece that provides wholeness in the lives of elderly people who have lost many loved ones. We’re providing additional support and awareness to issues that seniors face, as we welcome them into our programs. But there are still too many seniors experiencing poverty in our community, so we have a lot of work left to do!
Please give generously today to help people like Brian change their lives!