Next Steps Transitional Shelter
Victoria, British Columbia

Provides an opportunity for 15 emergency shelter clients to access the resources and services they need to get their lives back on track.

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Drop off Locations:
  • Next Steps, 2317 Dowler Place , Please drop off all gifts at the Rock Bay Landing shelter, 535 Ellice Street, Victoria (250-383-1951, jconnolly@coolaid.org), open 24 hours a day. Just let them know that it is for Homeless Partners. We need all gifts by noon on December 22nd at the latest. Please ensure gifts are labeled with the Assigned ID (that is posted with that individual) Shelter address: Next Steps Transitional Shelter, 2317 Dowler Place. Phone:

Stories

10

Gifts

33

Pledged Gifts

21 of 33

Larry has been at NS home for 8 months and grew up in Windsor, Ontario. Though he has lived a lot of his life in the States. He has a lot of neat stories of his experiences living down in Hollywood. He has a loving family and kids that he remains in contact with his family. He is 68 years young, spending some time in his van but mostly in shelters. He says most shelters "like prisons". You get kicked out in the morning (in some) , most people get sick from the cold.
He loves his work and has so much passion for it. He use to restore furniture and would still love to have his own shop today. When the economy fell out made life really difficult for Larry. No money to carry his business. And because he loved what he did, he always was keen to learn more making him sometimes overqualified that other managers were threatened by him to loose their jobs; so it made it difficult to find a job.
What makes Larry happy? Work. He loved the art of it and the techniques, an industry with endless education. He loves to teach what he has learned and everything about his trade.
His dream is to set up a shop! I can tell if Larry had an opportunity for his own shop- he would create a beautiful and inspiring space.

He is looking for a pair of shoes. Nice black pair that , more formal. he called them "Spanish boots" size 9.5 usually. but sometimes 10.. depending on shoes. comfy, warm.

Wish List

Cory is a 46 year old man. He was born into a military family, thus traveling all over Canada as he grew up, from Edmonton as a young child to the island. He has lived in Victoria for 15 years, and worked in restaurant kitchens, and most recently drove a taxi. He lost his job last December after losing his mother and grandmother, and in May had to move out of his apartment. He has stopped smoking and drinking and wants to improve his life. When asked if he would like prayers for anything, he replied "That people would be less selfish and think of others."
He would love to have a LIFE pass (a low income fitness program at neighborhood recreation centres)

Wish List
  • L.I.F.E. pass

This 67-year-old woman is originally from Bellingham, WA. She has been homeless for a few months. She survived a brain aneurysm 3 years ago that required multiple surgeries and left her with debilitating epilepsy. The first night she was homeless she slept in a Wal-Mart parking lot, “It was very uncomfortable, I never want to have to do that again,” she says.

She was a successful cook at several large hotels and resorts over the course of her career. “I love tocreate,” she says. She is also quite the baker and is talented at making very intricate pastries and desserts. “I think that maybe one day I would like to bottle and sell my personal salad dressing recipe and donate all proceeds to a worthy cause…I would like to help the homeless,” she says.

She says living with severe epilepsy and a brain injury is the hardest part of her life right now. She states, “I don’t go out very much, I like to stick around the shelter because it feels safer, I never know when a seizure is going to happen to me.” She takes medication to manage her condition but says, “I hope that one day they will find a cure for epilepsy.”

What makes her happy? “I just love waking up in the morning knowing I have one more day ahead of me. To be alive and well, that’s all I need.” She says she likes it at the Shelter and that “the staff here are just angels, absolute angels.”

She would appreciate prayers from the community for her health to stay with her: “I’m certain I am meant to live until I’m 103 years old, I have a lot more living to do!”

"I had the privilege today to go into a shelter and interview this dynamic woman about her life. She was lively and positive and in love with life despite her challenges. She serves as a reminder to us all to be more grateful for what we have because the things we take for granted somebody else is praying for." - the interviewer

Food: Mashed Potatoes and Gravy are her favorite
A wooden backscratcher because “I get an itchy back and I wasn’t born with four arms.”
A Cell Phone because “It would make it easier for me to connect with others.”

Wish List

Ronny has been at NS home for 2 months, growing up in Manitoba. He is such a grateful man who only wants the best for his family and children. I could tell that he put his kids first before anyone. He was so inspiring to talk to and just full of life and appreciation for what he has. He stayed at Rock Bay but found it difficult there with all the drugs. He has tried all kind of jobs but liked best doing metal roofs down in Texas. He Is interested in being a Driller for the experience and the money. He is really grounded and appreciates the simplicity of life. When I asked what makes you happy he replied "waking up everyday"- so beautiful! He loves educating myself and learning new things. The most difficult challenges he faces is judgements, specifically for being a First Nation, and being over qualified for jobs.
He would like to pray for his health!

He would love for gift cards to Mayfair Mall for his kids and family.

Wish List

Rafael is a 68 year old man who was born and raised in Mexico City. His mother tongue is Spanish but he speaks fluent English. He says, “I have travelled many places in the world; but have called Canada my home, since 1974. I used to own property and a business downtown Victoria but lost everything due to poor investments and lack of knowledge.” He is currently waiting to hear if he will receive his pension from the government as he just recently returned to Canada, after living for 2 years in Mexico with his ailing mom.
While traveling back to Canada, he had an accident that pinned him between 2 vans that he was towing. His knees were severely injured; but they have improved greatly. Since that time he has been living in his car, but says, “I am very grateful to be living in Next Steps. I feel very lucky. I really enjoy being with people and helping others. That is what makes me happy.” It would also make him happy if he could start a small business again or even get involved in doing some translation from Spanish to English. Although, he likes construction work, he is unable to do so, since the accident.
I found Rafael a pleasure to visit with. He seemed very knowledgable about many things and says that he loves learning and researching things. When I asked him what he would do if he had unlimited resources, he said, “I would like to enhance people’s awareness of a need or a want. A want is not necessarily a need. If people could learn to discern between the two, then people could take care of themselves.” He would like to help people find balance; then they would be okay.

Christmas Wish List
Gift Card for a bookstore
External Hard drive for a PC or Memory Sticks
Anything to do with electronics

Wish List
  • gift card for book store

  • External hard drive for PC

  • electronics

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Fabian is a 44 year old man from Colombia, Spanish speaking but reasonably fluent in English as well.
He was baking when I arrived and said that he had begun here as a cook selling Colombian food.
It was very hard for him when he became homeless over a year ago.
He is a very kind and likeable man and the most important thing to him is his two year old son and his wife. His wife is a teacher locally and left him because of drugs. He praises her for being a good person. He told of his addiction to drugs going back 25 years off and on. He came to Canada and got along well but fell back into occasional use and his wife would not stay with him. He has taken an addiction recovery course and feels confident that he can stay on track and wants to be back with his son and wife.
He has a job now in finishing concrete and will be in his own bachelor apartment in the next few days.

Wish List
  • Work boots men's size 10

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  • Backpack

  • Food, rice and beans and vegetables

Bonnie is a charming 29 year old Caucasian Canadian, who has been without a home for about six months.
She is from Nanaimo and has been in Victoria for 2 years. She says that the thing that contributed most to losing her apartment was that she was helping out a friend financially. She continues to help this friend. Bonnie considers that not having a phone is her biggest challenge and her laptop was stolen as well. Bonnie works at Value Village full time now and is trying to get back on her feet.
She has family in Nanaimo and a 17 year old son who lives with his father.
Bonnie considers herself very spiritual and that she has an abundant nature. Her limitation is financial and she is working to correct that.
She is a great fan of LARPing, live action role playing, called Medieval Chaos, which she participates in each summer in the Duncan area. She loves poetry, guitar, singing and costuming.
She gets around completely by bike and has added a request for a back fender and metal rack for saddle bags.

Wish List
  • Socks

  • backpack

  • phone card

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  • bike fender and rack for saddlebags

Isabel is First Nations from the Cree Nation. She was born in Saskatchewan and grew up in Alberta. She is 45 years old and is very independent, taking care of her own health and well-being. She said that it was horrible and embarrassing to find herself homeless. It occurred 8 months ago and came after she had gone on an 8 month long Awareness Campaign across the country to the east coast to raise awareness of violence in the aboriginal community. Before she left on this trip, she made a living in downtown Victoria reading Taro cards. However when she returned, her patron base was so reduced that she was unable to make a living.
She has completed a course in business and feels confident that she will be able to set up an office with other aboriginal practitioners and again have financial security. She would be happy for anyone to pray for this goal with her.

Wish List
  • Sports bra size 40

  • Annual LIFE recreation pass (rec centers low income pass)

  • Book Business Plans for Canadians For Dummies

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  • Wool 5 finger socks

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  • bathrobe, size XL

  • Warm boots, Baffin or Sorel, size 8

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Lisa is a 51 year old woman who was born in Ontario and has lived in Victoria for 7 years. She has 3 grown children, 2 daughter here and a son in Ontario. She is on disability due to a chronic mental condition which she takes medication for. Her goal is to keep herself emotionally stable long-term, and to find a home that will be hers forever. She loves classic 50's and 60's music and reading. Her biggest cause for sadness is that she has not seen her son for 7 years. She asked that people pray that she will find a home.

Wish List
  • Bus pass

  • Ipod for her music

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  • House slippers, size 8

  • Housecoat, size L

  • Rainboots, size 8

Jacob is a 25 year old Caucasian male who has been homeless for two months. His challenges are that he has no job, no bus pass and no bike. He is originally from Winnipeg and followed his wife and baby daughter here, hoping to reconcile with them. His greatest wish is that they would be able to get back together. He was jailed for 30 days on his first criminal charge when came home one evening and found a neighbor in his kitchen cooking and eating his food. He had been drinking and beat the man up and was jailed. At that time his wife left him and came here.
He became homeless soon after arriving here and found it terrifying to be homeless and lived for awhile in Rock Bay Shelter.
He has worked in construction, as a cashier and other jobs and is trying to get bak on his feet. He would appreciate prayers that his family would get back together.

Wish List
  • Socks and blanket

  • Pullover sweaters size L

  • Thermal underwear s L

  • Christmas treats

  • Mall gift card for clothing

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