Shown above: Andrew and Jaime in Ozanam House, Les and Leah in CMHA Penticton
Below are a just a few of the local impact stories from the United Way funded programs.
Before coming to Ozanam House, Andrew’s outlook in life was bleak – riddled with addiction, and substance abuse. In participating in a United Way funded trauma counselling program offered by Ozanam House, Andrew now has a renewed sense of hope in his life – keen to rebuild his career, settle down and give back to the community that believed in him.
“A lot of people have fear and trust issues. Because this program has built me up, I am comfortable sharing my experience to maybe another homeless person, to show them that love and compassion exists in a place like the Ozanam House.” – Andrew
Apart from accessing the services from CMHA, Les has also been actively volunteering in their United Way funded meals program. Not only does the program offer a very affordable meal for people with diagnosed mental health issues; it also provides an opportunity for Les to feel included and connected in the community.
“In order for folks to be mentally healthy, they need a roof over their head, as well as nutritious food. The meals that we offer here are affordable, hearty and nutritious, and volunteering helps give them a sense of belonging, while helping out a bigger community. Even with the pandemic, it’s amazing that we are able to continue this program in a physically distant matter. It gave our clients a sense of connection – even with COVID – to be face-to-face with staff. We’re looking forward to being able to sit down together, and break bread together as one.” – Leah, CMHA Penticton