A Message from Carmen & Bob

Wow, what a year! Our city has faced not one, but three separate crises throughout 2020. The lack of affordable housing, the opioid crisis and the pandemic all combined to make this year particularly challenging for those experiencing poverty, homelessness and addiction in Kelowna.

But we had a secret weapon: caring people like you. Our supporters and our partners in the Okanagan community have blown us away. This has brought us together in a remarkably big way. And we believe that when we confront these challenges together, we have the opportunity to emerge even stronger.

The most wonderful time of year is quickly approaching and all of us at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission could not be more excited to celebrate Christmas with our community.

This year, the limitations created by the COVID pandemic will make it much harder for us to distribute as much food as last season. But, with your help, we intend on dishing out as much as possible. We’ll be delivering delicious holiday meals and bringing Christmas cheer to those who are struggling in Kelowna this season. And it’s all thanks to you.

Carme Rempel
Executive Director, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

Bob Evans
Board Chair, Kelowna’s Gospel Mission

 

Decades Lost and Alone
How Supportive Community Transformed George’s Life

“A lot of us are lonely people, lonely and lost. I was lost for a long time. I didn’t know what direction to go.” – George

George was born in Prince Rupert 72 years ago, but he grew up in Slave Lake, Alberta. His grandmother was Cree Nation, and she went through the trauma of having her child, George’s mother, forcibly taken from her and placed in the residential school system.

Breaking families apart causes deep pain that’s often passed on from one generation to the next.

Forced to attend a predominantly white school as a young Indigenous boy, George endured years of bullying and abuse. Sadly, life at home offered little refuge. His sister had experienced her own pain, and she took her anger out on George.

Leaving him lost, angry, and alone.

Once school was finished, he became a barber for a while before moving on to work in landscaping. No matter what he did, he still felt lost, so he turned to alcohol, looking to numb the pain.

Before long, drinking became an uncontrollable addiction. And eventually, he found himself homeless in Vancouver.

George hated the way he acted when he was drunk, but he couldn’t stop. Rock bottom came when he was diagnosed with cirrhosis at 29.

His life depended on getting sober.

Incredibly, George still had hope. He stopped drinking and moved to Kelowna, looking for a fresh start. One thing he’d learned was he couldn’t do it alone, so he came to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.

Through our doors, he found friendships and a supportive community, as well as the resources he needed to start building a better life. But George insists that the threat of relapse is ever-present—and to this day he knows addiction is a life-long battle.

To this day, George attends the AA meeting that we hold here at our centre.

“My life is still unmanageable, and will always be unmanageable,” says George. “If I don’t work on myself, my life can easily fall apart again. But I want to be clean.”

His commitment to maintaining a clean, healthy life is an inspiration to everyone at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission.

Your incredible support makes stories of healing possible. Thank you for supporting Kelowna’s Gospel Mission so people like George can find community, love and the help they need to rebuild their lives.

2019-2020 Year in Review

This was one of the most challenging years that our staff and guests have ever faced. But thanks to amazing donors like you, our city’s most vulnerable were able to rely on our Kelowna’s Gospel Mission for the care they needed during this trying time. Thank you for extending your blessings to people battling homelessness in our city so that they can experience God’s unconditional love.

    • Statistics
      • 10,511 Assists from Caseworkers
      • 90 Men and women housed
      • 164 New Clients assessed
      • 291 Addiction and mental health referrals
      • 154,334 Meals served
      • 2,560 Dental clinic patient visits
      • 28,466 Bed nights
      • 367,000 Cups of coffee
      • 33,994 Volunteer hours
    • Revenue
      • $227,604 Low Income Dental Coverage
      • $373,317 Thrift Store
      • $1,261,990 Donated Goods and Services
      • $2,072,448 Monetary Contributions
      • $2,144,975 BC Housing
      • $83,302 Federal Government COVID Wage Subsidy
    • Expenses
      • $5,108,648 Programs and Services
      • $554,685 Administration
      • $363,800 Development
Looking Forward to Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and we’re in need of your support! We’re getting ready to prepare our annual dinner of turkey, hams, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, veggies and pie. 

To keep everyone safe during COVID-19 we will be serving our holiday meal to residents at our shelter and delivering all other Christmas meals to go for people in need around our community. You can ensure everyone in Kelowna enjoys a warm holiday dinner by making a special gift today.