Howard House
Vernon, British Columbia

The John Howard Society began offering services to men and women in Okanagan in 1957. Originally based out of Kelowna the Society grew over the years, eventually providing services throughout the Okanagan, the Thompson region and the Kootneys.
The Gateway Men's Shelter provides men emergency shelter in the downtown core area of Vernon to the absolute homeless who may be suffering from economic downturn, illiteracy, addictions or mental health challenges.

Visit Website
Drop off Locations:
  • North Okanagan Center for Community Collaboration, 102-3301 24th Avenue Vernon , Bring your wrapped gift/item with ID name attached. Front desk staff will assist you Monday - Friday 8am - 12pm and 1pm - 4:30pm.

Stories

21

Gifts

82

Pledged Gifts

51 of 82

I am 22 years old. I am originally from Penticton. I moved East with my dad until he passed away. I have been in and out of jail. Came back to see my mom. I then moved here with girlfriend. I was kicked out for acting a fool. Slept in a tent for 4 months. I then moved to Vernon from Penticton. I then fought with girlfriend again and got kicked out and ended up coming to the Howard House. I have done a few different jobs including mill work, production line, snow removal. I think the things that contributed most to my difficulties was not having a mom and my dad passing away, no sister, always moving and alcohol. There is not a lot that makes me happy, I don't have a lot of confidence. I have just a small group of friends and I am doing some courses for work. I would like to get back on my feet and get a good job and then a place of my own. I would like others to pray that I would be able to make more good friends and make my friends great.

Wish List

I am 32 years old and I was born and raised in Vernon. To be honest, the first time I slept outside it was kind of exiting but quickly changed into a nightmare. I was alone, broke and no where to go while I was waiting to get into detox. I was 30 years old. I have been actually pretty successful most of my life and all by my own hands.I owned and operated my own welding company by the age of 25. That is the same year I married the love of my life and within the 3rd year of opening we made our first million. We had the fancy house on the lake and a fleet of exotic cars with 6 welding trucks. This was the direct result of two people coming together and taking life by the horns and for another 3 years lived an amazing fast paced life. By the end of 6 years, the tables had somehow turned and we found ourselves financially very well off but emotionally ever getting emptier and emptier from simply giving too much to a company and employees. We were the type so madly in love that we both noticed something changing between us from the stress and long (as in sometimes 90 day, 16 hour/day stints) periods away from each other, it made us panic. To avoid thinking that anything was wrong we both turned to recreational drug use into absolute chaos and we did not stop smothering the pain of failure until we had nothing left. I now have over 8 months clean but I am still struggling with so many things that need fixing and mending that its hard to think about it. I just take one day at a time in the right direction. So when something like this comes a long at a time like this I truly am so thankful for any help at all. :)

Wish List
  • Ipad or Laptop

    Pledge This Gift
  • If this is not possible - A superstore gift card would help instead.

    Pledge This Gift
  • Either way, however the outcome, I am thankful for the Howard House for giving me the chance I need to live and love again. Thank you

    Pledge This Gift

I am 69 years old and I am originally from Nova Scotia. I moved here with my parents 50 years ago because the mines closed back home. I was first homeless with my parents in Nova Scotia when I was 3-4 years old, so I don't remember that much about it. I have worked in both corrections and with the Army. Both were very enjoyable. I had a stroke when I was 59 years old, but I still try to persevere and do not think that anything is hard in life. I would be happy if I had people around that were close to me.

Wish List
  • I would like well wishes for the rest of the fellows in the house

I am 56 years old and I am from Earth. The first time I slept outside it was OK. Luckily it was summertime in the Okanagan. I have tons all kinds of work including landscaping, turf grass management, auto mechanic and tile setter. The things that have contributed to becoming homeless has been a rash of bad luck. Working makes me happy, but I am not able to work right now. If I had unlimited resources, and I am not that keen on traveling I would like to build JHS houses in every single community in Canada!!

Wish List

I am 42 years old and I am originally from Mission. The first time I slept outside wasn't so bad I had help the first time. The circumstances like today are the lack of housing and the cost. I was 27. All the work I have done in the past were hard physical work. I did commercial fishing, was a RN and a care aid. The things that have contributed the most to my difficulties is my diabetes. It is type 1 and I use an insulin pump. Overall my health has been the hardest part of my life. What makes me happy is my cat. If I had unlimited resources I would see the world and fish it. I would like others to pray for my health to get better.

Wish List
  • $50 prepaid gift card so I can purchase some essentials for my cat.

I am originally from Kelowna. I left when I was 13. I remember it being very cold and lonely there. I am now 34 years old. I have done a lot of construction work and I enjoy doing tattoo work. I have suffered from depression and anxiety throughout my life. The hardest part of my life is dealing with these diseases. My family and recovery make me happy. I would like to go back to school. I would like others to pray for my well being and health.

Wish List
  • Running shoes - Size 9 - Nike if possible as they do not hurt my feet.

  • Cell phone - touch phone if possible

    Pledge This Gift
  • Warm winter coat - Large

I am originally from Regina SK. I have also lived in Albert and the Yukon. Being homeless is stressful and confusing. I lost my job, my possessions and home. I found myself on the street in Edmonton the first time I experienced homelessness. This was due to a drinking problem which was at the time a means to cope with my depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was 35 years old at the time. I have worked mostly in retail/security in a supervisor/manager position. I have also worked as a shipper-receiver, ESL/English tutor and in film production. I enjoyed being a shipper/receiver and working in film production. I would like to run my own photography studio. I think the things that contributed most to my homelessness was depression, physical health deterioration and years of alcoholism. The hardest part of my life is dealing with PTSD from witnessing the violent deaths of my uncle, best friend in high-school and most recently my wife. What makes me happy is the good relationships and some stability. Right now improved living conditions are going well for me. If I had unlimited resources I would like to update and add to the photography equipment I currently have with the intent of opening my own studio. I have plenty of people at my church praying for me already. I would ask that people pray for the lost souls still suffering on the street trapped in addiction. On a scale of 1-10 my happiness is around a 5.

Wish List

I grew up in Vernon BC. I have been taking care of myself since I was 13. I have done various jobs including roofing, drywall, spray foam and insulation. I enjoyed foam insulation the best. It included lots of traveling to different resorts, hotels etc. I plan to go work up North once my treatment program is complete. The things that have contributed most to my difficulties and what is the hardest thing in my life is my drug addiction. My girlfriend makes me happy and i'm for once in my life making changes. I would like other to pray for me in regards to my for my court charges. Once in my life I didn't do anything and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am very happy with homelesspartners and I would rate them a 10 as very happy :)

Wish List
  • Shirts - Size XL (winners has cheap brand names)

  • Pants - Size 32 (winners has cheap brand names)

  • Warm winter coat -Size M (winners has cheap brand names)

    Pledge This Gift
  • Phone card - Chat + has a $45 card - pays for 1 month of free text and free evening and weekend calling

    Pledge This Gift

I am a 62 year old male. I was born and raised in Vancouver. I lived on the East side and in Kitsalano. I moved to Vernon in 1991. The first time I was homeless it was very confusing and terrifying. Loss of funds and someplace to call home. I was in my mid 30s in Victoria. I was homeless and a heroin addict. For work that I have done, I first started out logging for about 15 years. Then I became involved in landscaping. Finally I finished my career in construction and renovations. I would love to work at something part time. I am very flexible and educated. No question, when i became a heroin addict in 1975 definitely was the hardest part of my life. Ever since it has been an ongoing, constant battle with this demon. Maintaining my sobriety, when faced with failure after failure. Not maintaining my sobriety, but failing to move my life forward in aspects of living and working conditions. What makes me feel happy is believing that somehow, someway my dream of affordable, safe, secure housing complex for people such as I. I would like other to pray for my dream of a home and work do not remain a dream. If I were to rate my happiness on a scale of 1-10 I would say i am about a 6. At least I have a roof over my head and something to eat thanks to John Howard. And who knows maybe the creator will see to helping me with a home and work. Then I would be in a position to volunteer my time and abilities where ever I may be able to contribute. Not huge goals, but immensely important for me. Thank you for reading my story.

Wish List
  • Warm winter coat - Size M

    Pledge This Gift
  • Back pack

  • Underware, especially thermal - M

I am 48 years old and I am originally from Cranbrook. The first time I slept outside it was a sense of abandonment, forsaken dysfunctional family, mentally, physically abused fourteen years. I have been a logger, certified faller and vehicle diagnostic technician. the things that haev contributed most to my difficulties are dysfunctional family and alcoholic parents.What makes me happy now is my health and sobriety. If i had unlimited resources I would like to help others. I would like others to pray for my health, wealth, prosperity, peace, joy and life abundance.

Wish List

I am 56 years old and I am originally from Vancouver. I have never had to sleep outside thanks to John Howard Society. The types of work I have done include manufacturing, cooking and sales. The things that have contributed the most to my difficulties are my health (arthritis), hip replacement and mobility. What makes me happy is being busy, that I am alive and that I have support from John Howard Society. To name a few there is Barb Levesque and Steve Soglo. If I had unlimited resources I would travel and help others in need. I would like others to pray for my health.

Wish List
  • Footwear - Slippers - Size 10

  • House coat - Large - Black or blue

    Pledge This Gift
  • Underwear - Large - Boxers

I originally came to Vernon from Poland. I am 78 years old. I have worked in the sawmills, logging, construction and mines all over Canada. A lot of people that I did work for have since passed away. I enjoying the logging and mining the most. The things that contributed to my current circumstances was that I lived quiet helter skelter. I moved around a lot, hitch hiking place to place. I smoked too much, drank too much and acted like an idiot. I didn't eat properly and now my health is paying the price. I did not put roots down until 20 years ago. Now I just want to be happy and make the most of my life, although I will not give up on my stubbornness.

Wish List
  • Woolen touque

  • Knitted long johns.

  • Tim Hortons gift card - My favorite place for coffee

I am 47 years old and I am originally from Burnaby. The first time I was homeless was this year and it was because I was leaving a toxic home. I used to own my old cleaning business. I liked cleaning, the hours were great. I am not to sure what I would like to do now. The things that have contributed the most to my difficulties are mental illness. To be more specific borderline personality disorder. I have also been dealing with choices that I have made in my life. What makes me feel happy is going to the gym, helping people and eating right. Also to know that my girlfriend is moving here to be with me. It also makes me happy to have a girlfriend that listens and helps me through problems I may have and she shows me the love I need. If I had unlimited resources and I was done with traveling I would buy a house or build a house.

Wish List
  • Back pack

  • Underwear - Size Medium

  • Footwear - Size 8

I am 57 years old and I am BC born and bred. I have no comment about the first time I slept outside except that I survived. The work I have done includes drywall, masonry, and log home. I did everything to the building. I always worked to the best of my ability. The things that have contributed the most to my difficulties have been medical issues and alcohol. If I had unlimited resources I would spend the rest of my life with my son. Or I would move to New Zealand and never be seen again. I would like other to pray about me to have a life.

Wish List
  • Socks

  • Long Johns - Black - Medium

  • Phone card

    Pledge This Gift
  • Back pack

I am 28 years old. I was born in Vernon, but I grew up and I was raised in Enderby. I am a Spallumcheen (Splatsin) Indian band member. I was in my early twenties the first time I slept outside. It was the beginning of my hard drug addiction stag. I was pretty big in the drug scene selling and doing drugs so being homeless did not bother me. I have done a lot of construction work as well as working in the food industry. I enjoyed cooking, but couldn't stand working in kitchens. I really enjoyed construction work. I would like to continue my carpentry apprenticeship. I grew up with a mother who abandoned me frequently as a child. This had grown or has grown into me having trust issues with women. I have recently started talking to and being apart of my families life again. I spent some time with my sisters and their children which fills me with joy. I'm dealing with my legal and addiction issues that are slowly but surely getting better. If I had unlimited resources I would like to build and open a treatment facility to help those in need. On a happy scale I'm probably around a 7. Life is beginning to get better and I'm happy to be a positive part of my families life. I look forward to growing in my recovery as well as being a part of others recovery.

Wish List

I am 55 years old and I am from Vancouver. The first time I slept outside I was 40 years old. It was the shit. The work I have done is body work and I still work on cars today. The things that have contributed the most to my difficulties has been drugs. I'm not sure what makes me feel happy. If I had unlimited resources I would give a portion to my kids.

Wish List

I am 39 years old and I am originally from Oshawa Ontario. The circumstances that led to me being homeless the first time were that I got kicked out due to an argument with my step-mother. The types of work I have done include rebar, drywall, landscaping and factory work. I enjoyed doing rebar the most, I would like to be doing it still for a permanent job. I think there is more than 1 thing that has contributed to making things hard for me. Being around family is what makes me the happiest.

Wish List

I am 53 years old and I have lived in Vernon with my family since 1976. The first time I slept outside it was very cold. I lost my place because of complications with welfare and medical EI. This left me with a shortage on rent and therefore I lost my place. I have done all kinds of work. I would take anything to have a regular pay check. I have also had difficulties in being off work due to an operation for my hernia which ultimately put me behind. It is hard to say what makes me happy. It would be my dream to travel across Canada. Although I don't believe in god, I believe in a greater power.

Wish List
  • Socks

  • Fishing gear

  • Fishing Line

  • #6 hooks for fishing

I am 54 years old and I am originally from Fort St John. The first time I slept outside it was not nice, and I was 29 years old. Most of the work I have done in the past has been trucking. I would myself has contributed the most to my difficulties. What makes me happy is that I am getting lined up for a treatment center. If I had unlimited resources and was done traveling I would spend all my time with my children. I would like others to pray for me to have self control.

Wish List
  • Steel toed boots - Size 9

  • Socks

  • Underwear - Size medium

  • Warm Winter Coat - Medium

I am 21 years old and I am from Creston BC. The first time I slept outside I was 15 and I was kicked out for issues concerning addiction. I have mainly been or had employment in the labor industry, specifically in the orchards. I think avoiding school has effected my life the most. I feel the happiest when I am with loved ones. What is going well?...I have not had a drink in ages. If I had unlimited resources I would make investments and possibly write a self help guide. Ive never really asked for prayers, but maybe to pray for those that are less fortunate.

Wish List
  • Warm winter coat - Medium-Large

  • Back pack

  • 2017 Calendar

  • Tabacco

    Pledge This Gift
  • Headphones

  • Atlas

I am 32 years old and I am originally from Lumby. The types of work I have done include carpentry, working in the oil patch and rebair. The hardest part of my life has been staying clean and staying out of jail. I am always happy. I would like others to pray for me to stay clean, stay sober and get well. This will hopefully be a new beginning for me.

Wish List
  • Socks

  • Gloves

  • Touque

  • Scarf

  • Back pack

    Pledge This Gift
  • Phone car $10 Long distance calling card