Heart pounding. Hands over his ears. Yelling at everyone to be quiet… This was Ted not too long ago. But if you met him today, you would see a different man.
As a young child, he suffered a significant head injury, which ended up affecting his memory. It’s made life tough.
Holding down a job has been one of the hardest things. He’s had 60 jobs in his lifetime, and in April, he celebrated his 60th birthday. As an adult, Ted has always struggled with severe anxiety, especially in large groups.
When he was out of work, he lost his home. He tried staying in emergency shelters on and off, but it was too much for him. “Being around a lot of people and noise is really stressful and puts my system into panic mode,” says Ted.
As Ted has aged, sleeping outside is too hard on his body. For a while, he self-medicated to cope with the anxiety, but it was doing more harm than good. “I decided to quit cold turkey.”
“I am thankful to be part of this community. I appreciate the routines and the work it has given me”—Ted
“Then I decided to come back to the Mission and try again,” says Ted. “I told my caseworker about my extreme anxiety and he helped me get into Momentum Ministries. So, I’ve been here for five or six months now.”
Ted loves the structure and purpose the Momentum program has given him. He is gaining new life skills all the time. Recently, he started budgeting for food and clothing, which is something he’d never done before. Working consistently with the same caseworker has also proved to be very beneficial.
Ted’s caseworker, Chris, has been through it all with him. After Ted spent so much of his life feeling like an outsider, Chris knew how important it was to take the time to really understand where Ted was coming from. He also helped Ted learn a necessary life skill for all of us: how to truly appreciate and find value in oneself.
Even though Ted has had to overcome a lot of challenges, he has also learned to make the most of his strengths. He is artistic and incredibly hardworking. This winter he single-handedly took on shoveling snow around Kelowna’s Gospel Mission and keeping the grounds free of garbage.
It means everything to him to have this support. Everyone here at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission believes that Ted has a wonderful part to play in this world. And with your compassionate support, we’ll continue to help him see his value, as he finds his unique place in it.
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