A Message from the Executive Director

As I reflect on the six months of the year that we’ve already been given, I feel immensely thankful for the commitment to excellence that I see in the people I’m surrounded by every day, here at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. People are the reason that I’m inspired to come to work every day and continue advocating for a healthier community.

This summer, my wife Pam and I are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary, and I’m also celebrating my 15th anniversary of working at the Mission. Long-term commitment is such an important element of my life, and it’s one of our values at the Mission as well. Without long-term commitment, it’s difficult to build up and build forward.

Everyone says it—but the years really have flown by and so it’s crucial to try to make every moment count.

When a guest arrives, I never know if they’ll stay one day or a few months! So every opportunity that I receive where I can speak into someone’s life, is important.

This summer, as we continue to partner with the generous community in bringing recovery and new life to our members who are struggling, my challenge—both to myself and to all of you—is to make every moment, and every day, count.

Blessings,

Randy Benson

Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

Brian’s Story of Finding a Family
in our Community

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!
 

Why People Give

“We felt it was important that we provide something to those that can’t really afford it. ” – Chris Collinson, co-owner of Vital Waters

Since 2009, Vital Waters has been donating water to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission on a regular basis. Each month, they deliver 60 water bottles (18.93 litres each) to the Mission, while also dropping a couple hundred other bottles of water at other nonprofits in the community throughout the year.

“Part of our focus is to provide our water to as many people as we could afford,” says Chris Collinson, a co-owner of Vital Waters. “We felt it was important that we provide something to those that can’t really afford it. That was the goal, and we’ve always carried it forward.”

Even when the going was tough, Chris and his generous company were dedicated to giving. “It was hard at the beginning as we were running at a loss, but God has an incredible way of taking these things into account,” says Chris. “I’m a firm believer that you have to be looking to help your fellow man at all times.”

Thank you to Chris Collinson and your team! Faithful generosity like yours is what makes our continued work possible.

Please join Chris Collinson in giving generously, so that those who are struggling in our community can find the help necessary to transform their lives!