A Message from the Executive Director

This spring, when reflecting on the new life springing up in nature, I am reminded of the many lives changing at our shelter. For one guest who was given housing, that meant sleeping on a bed for the first time in two years.

We hear so many impactful stories like this. I am humbled by how many caring staff, volunteers and supporters work hard to help change lives for the better. With your help, we’ve made great strides so far this year and are looking forward to what God has in store for everyone here. This spring, I am reminded that the love of God is constant and that He is in control of all that we aren’t. I thank you for your prayers and your support.

Blessings,

  Randy Benson
  Executive Director

 

  
Lloyd’s Story

When JoAnne, one of our outreach workers, first saw Lloyd on the street, he was in rough shape. He had a long beard that he didn’t like and a broken pair of glasses with one lens that he looked through when he needed to see something.

Lloyd worked for the last 20 years in a winery, but then a change in owners meant a full staff change as well. Because of this, Lloyd not only lost his job but also his home, as he had been living in a trailer at the orchard for the last 20 years. He was 66 years old.

With nowhere else to go, Lloyd lived on the street for 14 months. He impacted many of the people he met – now he’s called Grandpa Lloyd by most of the people he knows. But it was also a difficult experience. At one point he came back to his tent only to find that the entire site had been burned down by some kids partying.

His life started to change when he got connected to the Mission. It was the staff who really made a difference in his life.

“JoAnne gave me a lot of help and took care of me. She got me glasses cause I couldn’t afford them. She did all my taxes and got me all my new IDs,” says Lloyd.

With JoAnne’s help, Lloyd found a place to live. She said that before he moved in, the thing he was looking forward to most was using his own shower and getting rid of his beard. When he moved in to his new home on December 6th, that wish was answered.

Now beardless, he is still known as Grandpa Lloyd by the many people who still depend on him. He also has a pension, which means he can afford a second pair of glasses as back-up. He’s settled into his new house, and hoping to start working in the summer.

“I’m one of those guys that wake up and the sun is shining and the birds are singing and I have to do something,” says Lloyd. Thanks to you, he is equipped to do just that!

Stories like Grandpa Lloyd’s inspire us, and I hope his story helps you realize anew the far-reaching impact that one changed life can have. Your support makes such a large impact on the community. Thank you for your generosity!

  
Taking Strides Against Homelessness

It’s been another great year for our Strides Against Homelessness event. This year we are so grateful for the many volunteers who helped make this event go so smoothly. We had 205 walkers participate, everyone from adults to children, church groups, and many local businesses. Our top team, who beat out 26 other groups for the honour this year, was Team Happy Feet. They raised $10,062—way to go!

The kids had a blast getting their faces painted. Balloon animals were donated and created by Jeff from the Tickle Trunk. A delicious soup was donated and served by Earls Kitchen. Hot chocolate was donated and served by Ricky’s All Day Grill. C3 church opened their doors at our half way point and served drinks and fruit snacks. It was a great time to build relationships in our community!

In total, the community raised over $55,000! We want to say another thank you to all of our amazing volunteers. We truly couldn’t have done this without you. And a special thank you to our presenting sponsor, Wishbone Site Furnishings as well as sponsors Highstreet, Rapid Printing, Peter’s Your Independent Grocer, Source Office Furnishings, Northern Computer, Kelowna Glass, Baptist Housing and our media sponsors K96.3 Classic Rock and Castanet. We also want to thank our many prize sponsors for getting the healthy competition going!

By the end of the event, everyone left full of good food and a sense of community. Thank you to everyone who played a part. We’re so excited to be taking strides against homelessness with each of you!

  
One Team’s Impact

Scott Butler is the president of Highstreet Living, a development company in Kelowna. When he and his wife were looking for a charity to donate a percentage of their profits to each year, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission was a great fit. They wanted to help in the housing market where it was needed most: emergency shelter.

Not only do Scott and his team support the Mission financially, but they have also started volunteering their time. Gord Pettman, the Vice-President, has found the experience particularly valuable.

“We were surprised at the number of beds and the level of help needed. We feel good to be able to give to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission,” says Scott.

Thank you to the whole team at Highstreet. We are so grateful for people like you, faithfully supporting your community!