Annual Report
A Message from Our Executive Director and Board Chair

Christmas is hardly more than a month away, and we’re excited about everything that’s been happening at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission in preparation for the season. In an effort to express the sense of togetherness that we continually strive for, we make it our mission to reach as many people as possible—especially during these harsh and cold winter months.

While we are working every day to combat poverty and homelessness, and truly appreciate all of the support we receive, we still have so much to do.  

Many people in our Kelowna community are still struggling to value themselves and find confidence, as living on the street takes its toll. Those who are experiencing homelessness are facing a dangerous situation as temperatures continue to drop.

Without the ongoing generosity of our donors, we would be nothing. Incredible life change is truly taking place here every day. So many men have received life-giving help through programs that donors like you have made possible.

Thank you for your partnership as we continually seek new ways to be a light in our community.

 

Blessings,

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Randy Benson
Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

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John Jansen
Chairman of the Board, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

Faith Restored
Richard's Story

When I lost my wife of 27 years to cancer, I lost everything. I threw myself into service for a year in my wife’s memory, thinking I was dealing with my grief by helping seniors. Instead, I slowly became a functioning alcoholic.

After a year, I met a woman who had recently lost her son to suicide. We connected easily and quickly got married. We started partying, never dealing directly with our individual grief.

Finally, after finding out that my hip needed replacing, we decided to join Alcoholics Anonymous. There, a senior member advised me to spend some time apart from my wife, and I agreed.

During this time apart, I put my faith in God. But I was in physical pain too and was eventually diagnosed with bladder cancer and a defective kidney which had swollen to the size of a rugby ball. In such constant pain, it was difficult to be happy.

God answered my prayers time and again, over the next year. After the third surgery on my bladder and another surgery to remove my kidney, I told my surgeon that I wouldn’t agree to more treatment, that I had another program in mind.

During the following “program,” many people gave me unconditional help, particularly a couple who had both defeated their cancer with high alkaline water (ph 9.5) and a nutritional diet of fresh, organic produce. After only four months of their guidance, I returned to my surgeon and he announced that I was miraculously 100% cancer free. I was overjoyed.

Earlier this year, at age 67, I decided it was time to go somewhere entirely new, to discover more about my faith. That place was Kelowna.

Unfortunately, my money ran out quickly. When I came across Kelowna’s Gospel Mission, I applied and once again my prayers were answered.  

Meals and shelter were both generously provided and I expressed my gratitude by helping out. Through recommendations of my kind caseworker, I joined the Missions’ Program, including  Bible Study Group.

After staying six weeks, I found shared accommodations in a townhouse, only a half hour walk from the city centre. Since then, I’ve completed a WorkBC workshop and am now seeking employment. I look at my time at the Kelowna’s Gospel Mission as my training ground. The fellowship shared at the Bible Study sharpened and extended my unlimited faith.

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission dramatically pointed out to me that works of compassion and justice are not optional pursuits. They’re the very heart and soul of the kingdom of God, the very priorities that Jesus pronounced in His ministry.

I humbly thank Pastor Joe for assigning me a bed and always having an encouraging word, and Pastor Doug for exemplifying compassion in every situation. I also want to thank my caseworker, Ms. Terra, and her infectious enthusiasm, directing and helping me establish essential services within a new community.  Thank you, also, to every facilitator, volunteer and trainee who helps pull the yoke together. God bless each and everyone.

Year in Review
2014-2015

Donations like yours are a continual help to people, like Richard, as they push through difficult times, buoyed up by the strength of their support network. We recognize how helpful and inspiring it is to know what kind of impact your gifts are making, so today we’d like to share with you exactly what your generosity has done.

 

4812
Assists from Caseworkers
323
Men and Women Housed
249
New Clients Assessed
180
Addiction and Mental Health Referrals
153,000
Meals Served
2,258
Patients at Dental Clinic
25,869
Bed Nights
273,750
Cups of Coffee
36,798
Volunteer Hours
Revenue
$5,197,960
  • Dental
    $212,039
  • Thrift Store
    $250,841
  • Donated Goods & Services
    $1,092,350
  • BC Housing
    $1,747,172
  • Monetary Contributions
    $1,895,558
Expenses
$5,002,626
  • Programs and Services
    $4,034,202
  • Development
    $474,500
  • Administration
    $493,924
What’s Happened This Year?
Your Contributions in Action

This year, we’ve been humbled by the progress that we’ve witnessed.

  • Our Thrift Store is now open at a new location, creating volunteer opportunities, fostering community and purpose and providing hope.
  • Our Women’s Emergency Shelter is a place that offers open-armed security and this year we expanded it to include 14 beds. These beds—along with meals and hygiene items—are accessible every day of the year.
  • Our 12 bed Men’s Recovery Dorm is an integral part of our new Step Up Program for men, which is  a Biblically-based program focusing on discipleship, service and goal setting in preparation for recovery, housing, and rejoining the workforce.

Please accept our deepest thanks for making growth like this possible!