Moments of Hope and Belonging
As the pandemic becomes part of our collective history, Our Place is shifting direction back to our roots and returning to our core values: unconditional love, safety, teamwork, hope and belonging. These values have guided us for nearly 55 years, and now as programs and services can return safely to all locations, a renewed sense of optimism is felt across our organization. Our staff recently shared some examples of this, which you can read below.
“Capital City Centre received a donation of a box of books. Because one of the staff knows the residents so well, she was going through them and recommending books to nearby residents. One resident, an older man who couldn’t read himself, was recommended a book about myths, which caught his interest. The staff flipped through to find a myth that really interested him (Nordic myths) and she offered to read it aloud to him. Over the next hour or so, she intermittently read to him, while also providing support/food/etc. to residents at the front desk. At one point, the man touched her arm and had tears in his eyes. He said something along the lines of, “since my wife left me 35 years ago, I haven’t felt anything, but…” and he pointed to his chest. The staff clarified that he felt something there, to which he just simply nodded.” – Courtney, manager of housing and shelters
“Speaking with a man in prison who once again experienced his addiction leading to incarceration, I slowly saw the hope seep into his eyes. I went to court with him and the judge recognized the exceptional work of our treatment centre in View Royal, the New Roads Therapeutic Recovery Community. We brought him to New Roads where he was greeted with love, which quickly grew to belonging. He has a chance for change with Our Place. They belong.” – Le-Ann, intake and discharge coordinator at New Roads
“We help the family members in so many different ways, even at the front desk. Photocopies, looking up something or somewhere on the internet, giving directions, recommending services in the city or the area, or even helping a family member get copies of their resume so they can seek employment. We’re there for them.” – Thomas, Community Centre front desk
“I attended the baseball game this month with staff and family members/residents alike. It was such a great opportunity to create joy, genuine connections and teamwork. Family members participating received encouragement, built skills and increased their personal sense of efficacy. OPS uses donor funds responsibly and intentionally. We provide basics, like food, clothing and housing, but also emotional support, resource connection and, of course, moments of joy like at the baseball game.” – Rachel, housing scheduling supervisor
“My team lead and I put on a bingo game in the dining room for residents and around 10 people came. We all laughed together and it felt like family. It brought a sense of community and connectedness to the residents. They are real people who were given up on and forgotten by most of society. Understanding mental health and addiction struggles can really put in to perspective how anyone can end up in the position of one of our residents and family members.” – Madeline, housing support worker
“One of the people we have been supporting for many months who sleeps outside is very interested in going back to work. The problem that they face is that they can’t leave their tent and other belongings alone because once they return they would come back to their home and valuables gone. We mentioned to them that OPS has storage bins that can hold their items, including their tent, so they could go to work and know they have a home to come back to after a long day. They had no idea this service existed and were amazed at the life-changing suggestion! It enables them to work and become a different part of society. It gives them hope that they will be able to depart this vicious circle.” – Kimberly, street outreach team
“As a counsellor at New Roads, I see and hear numerous positive changes in our residents every day. For example, one of my clients who had not connected with his family in years due to his addiction was encouraged to contact them. He eventually overcame his fears and called his father, brother and sister. This long-lost connection helped him feel a sense of belonging. Our residents’ lives transform tremendously. The changes that happen in a resident’s life are mental, emotional and physical. We witness miracles every day in our community.” – Emma, New Roads clinical counsellor
“I just listen. Because compassion is everything. We ALL matter.” – Dawneen, housing team lead
Loving care, open hearts, and non-judgmental ears are there for anyone who comes through the doors of Our Place. You are the reason why people who are struggling can find a place of hope and belonging. Your gift provides so much more than meals. It provides a chance to change a life.