My name is David. And my life may sound different than what you’d expect. I came from a good home in the lower mainland. When I finished school, I followed my passion and became a chef at a nice restaurant downtown.
Life was going according to plan until my body unexpectedly failed me.
My memory from that day is foggy. I had been transferred to Kelowna for my job a few months earlier and the newness of an unfamiliar place was just starting to wear off. I remember leaving work to walk home one evening, and then everything went dark.
When I woke up in the hospital, they told me I’d had a seizure and hit my head. I must’ve fallen pretty hard because my skull was fractured. From that moment on, my life was never quite the same.
After my head injury, I had trouble going to work. I was tired all the time and would forget things very easily. Eventually, working at the restaurant wasn’t an option for me.
I tried to apply for disability more than once, but the process confused me and I didn’t know who to ask for help. As my bank account dwindled, I had to give up my apartment.
When I finally ran out of money and lost my place, I knew I needed real help. Thank God for Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.
You’d think that staying in a shelter for 6 months would’ve made me feel worse. But I found something there I didn’t know I was missing: community.
I loved helping out around the shelter. From washing dishes to cooking breakfast, I actually started to feel like myself again. After everything I’d been through, feeling like I was a part of something was a gift.
“If I wasn’t given the chance to feel like I was a part of something, I don’t know if I’d be alive today.” —David
The staff and volunteers at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission were incredible. Whenever I needed to talk they were there, helping me manage my depression and making my stay at the shelter a thousand times better.
I know there’s a long road ahead when it comes to recovering from my head injury and managing my mental health. But now, thanks to the support of donors like you, I have hope that one day soon I’ll be able to return to work as a full-time chef once more.