There’s Hope here

We know that every person has a particular history and unique potential. We believe that every person deserves access to the resources and opportunities to improve their life, at their own pace. Read some of our clients’ stories and see how far hope can take you.

CORINNE’S STORY

When it seemed she’d lost everything, Corinne found her path to recovery.

READ MORE

EMER’S STORY

Emer made Canada her home, then dedicated herself to helping the homeless.

READ MORE

GRACE’S STORY

Grace travelled from Rwanda to Canada in search of hope — but her journey was just the beginning.

READ MORE

Corinne, resident at The Oaks, the permanent residence facility of Shepherds of Good Hope’s Managed Alcohol Program

CORRINE’S STORY

When it seemed she’d lost everything, Corinne found her path to recovery.

When Corinne arrived at Shepherds of Good Hope she had lost a lot: her home, her job, her boyfriend and her family. But after all that loss, she found her path to recovery.

“In all of my 51 years, this is the happiest I have ever been.”

– Corinne, resident at The Oaks

“A FUNCTIONAL ALCOHOLIC”
Corinne describes herself as having been “a functional alcoholic.” She started drinking when she was 33, and while she drank every day, she managed to hold down a job at a downtown Ottawa hotel, and had a boyfriend and a social life. She hid her drinking from her friends, family and her employer.

But as Corinne’s drinking habit worsened, she lost her job and could no longer keep her alcoholism a secret. With the support of her loved ones, she entered and completed a rehab program, but relapsed soon after.

When Corinne drank, she would often “drunk-dial” her parents, accusing them of ruining her life. When they stopped answering her calls, she moved on to calling other relatives and friends. Eventually, they also made the difficult choice of cutting Corinne, and her erratic and disruptive behaviour, out of their lives.

Living in small community south of Ottawa, Corinne felt isolated. She had no means of transportation and no job. She was drunk every day. Finally, in desperation, her boyfriend packed up her clothing and kicked her out of their home.

Scared, angry and alone, Corinne didn’t know where to turn. “I had never had any experience with homelessness or living on the street,” Corinne remembers.

DIAGNOSED AND STABILIZED
Fortunately, Shepherds was there for her. She was admitted to the Women’s Special Care Unit, where she lived for several months while her condition stabilized. Medical professionals diagnosed her with bipolar disorder and prescribed medication to manage her condition; the team at Shepherds helped her learn how to stabilize her mental health.

Once stabilized, she entered Shepherds’ internationally-renowned Managed Alcohol Program (MAP). Corinne’s health continued to improve, and she was offered a chance to move to The Oaks, the MAP’s supportive living facility. She became one of its first residents.

A LIFE TRANSFORMED
When the time was right, Corinne decided to reconnect with her parents. She was extremely nervous. She didn’t know if she could undo the years of damage caused by the anger and verbal abuse she had directed at them. Would they forgive her?

Her parents agreed to visit her for Christmas at The Oaks. When they arrived, Corinne started to cry. They forgave her. These days she talks with her mother and father on a weekly basis.

Today, Corinne’s life has been transformed thanks to the dedication of The Oaks staff and her own hard work. She starts her day off with a coffee and can often be seen carrying a water bottle. She’s chatty and upbeat. Occasionally she will spend an evening with friends. She has no desire to return to her binge-drinking days.

When asked what life is like today, Corinne pauses and collects her thoughts: “In all of my 51 years, this is the happiest I have ever been.”

DONATE ON CORINNE’S BEHALF

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

“If you’ve been fortunate in your own life, you should help others.”
– Emer Cronin, Shepherds of Good Hope volunteer and donor

EMER’S STORY

In the early ’80s, Emer Cronin, along with her husband Barry and their two children, emigrated from Ireland to Canada. They thought it would be fun to try living in a different country for a couple of years.

Thirty-five years and two more children later, they’re still here.

NO REST ON SUNDAYS
It was Emer’s church that brought her to Shepherds of Good Hope. Since 1988, Divine Infant Church in Orleans has been supplying Shepherds of Good Hope’s kitchen with volunteers on Sundays in July and August — covering more weekends than any other parish in the city.

Emer got involved, helping coordinate 15–20 volunteers for each shift over the nine weekends in the summer, and leading a team that helped prepare and serve meals.

She discovered that she liked Shepherds’ inclusive atmosphere, and the fact that clients were treated with dignity and respect. So, when she had an opportunity to take Wednesdays off from her day job, she decided to use the time to volunteer at the Shepherds clothing program. It gave Emer an opportunity to make personal connections, and to serve a very real need in our community — something that matters deeply to her.

“THE NEED IS ENDLESS”
When asked about the impact she feels she makes, Emer says, “Sometimes it feels like a small drop in the ocean. The need is end­less. When I first moved here, I didn’t think Ottawa would have such a need, and it just keeps growing.”

The task of helping is daunting, but she says, “It’s so much better than not doing any­thing. It also gets the word out and spreads the message across the community.”

MORE THAN ONE WAY TO HELP
Emer believes that if you’ve been fortunate in your own life, you should help others. In fact, helping others is one of her core values, which is why Emer also chooses to donate generously to Shepherds of Good Hope on a monthly basis.

“You do what you can through volunteering, but you only have so many hours in a week. The money can be put to good use at any time.”

“You’re able to see the growth of the organization through innovative programs,” she says. “And you get to watch the funds help the various programs grow.”

Shepherds of Good Hope is grateful for our dedicated team of volunteers and monthly donors — people like Emer, who are helping us provide homes for all, community for all, and hope for all.
 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

Grace worked full time while studying at Queen’s University, and graduated debt free. It seemed like her life was on course.

GRACE’S STORY

Grace’s road to hope has been a long and winding one.

At the age of 21, Grace escaped the turmoil of her native Rwanda and journeyed to Canada to make a better life for herself. She ended up in Kingston, where she pursued an undergraduate degree in civil engineering at Queen’s University while holding down a full-time job. She graduated debt free and planned on continuing her studies and following a master’s program.

UPROOTED AGAIN
Grace met a charming, well-educated man and the two soon began dating — but as their relationship deepened, Grace learned that his appealing exterior hid a cruel, vicious personality. He was violent, and wouldn’t let Grace end their relationship. One day, when he tried to break down the door to her apartment, Grace’s screams prompted a neighbour to call 911.

Fearing for her life, Grace fled that night.

The man was known to police and had a documented history of abuse. The police suggested that Grace relocate to another city to escape him. Fearing for her life, Grace fled that night, leaving behind her job, her home and her dreams of higher education.

TEMPORARY SHELTER
She ended up on the doorstep of a shelter for abused women in Ottawa, where she lived for three months.

Around this time, Grace’s mother passed away suddenly. Grace travelled home to Rwanda for the funeral, a trip that exhausted her savings. When Grace returned to Ottawa, she was penniless, and without a place to call her own.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK
Grace found shelter at Shepherds of Good Hope. And while she stayed with us, a case manager worked with her to help her secure a permanent job, find housing and cover her moving expenses.

And now, after a long detour, Grace is finally back on the road to a brighter future.

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

JESSE’S STORY

Because Shepherds was there in his darkest hours, Jesse survived the street to become an award-winning scholar and advocate.

READ MORE

JIMMY’S STORY

You may have seen Jimmy on CBC’s The Fifth Estate. Learn the rest of his story.

READ MORE

JONAH’S STORY

Jonah’s path from the street to stable employment and a permanent home was through our Rapid Housing and Employment Program.

READ MORE

“Shepherds opened their doors to me when no one else would. They saved my life.”
– Jesse, former Shepherds of Good Hope resident and current PhD student

JESSE’S STORY

Jesse was born in a small Métis-Cree community in northern Saskatchewan.

His family has a history of trauma and addiction. Growing up, he struggled with understanding his identity, and eventually turned to drinking and drugs to help escape the pain he felt. He tried crack for the first time when he was 21, and for the next 11 years, his entire life revolved around getting high.

THE HARDEST YEARS
He would do anything to get his next fix, and that’s why, in 2006, Jesse was arrested for robbery. When it came time for sentencing, the judge took sympathy on him and agreed to release him under the condition he enter rehab and kick his habit. He enrolled in a rehab program in Ottawa, but soon ended up back on the streets. His addiction was too powerful.

Jesse states that the next two years were the hardest of years of his life. His drug completely took over his existence. He found himself sleeping in stairwells, alleyways and outside. He lost all hope.

And then he found Shepherds of Good Hope.

“I HAD NOTHING”
“Shepherds of Good Hope was there for me in my darkest hours. The worst period of my addiction was in 2007 and 2008, when I was most active in my drug use. During that time, when no other shelter would take me, I stayed at Shepherds of Good Hope. They were there for me during this critical time in my life.” says Jesse.

“I had nothing: no clothes, no food, no money and nowhere to stay. It was a brutally cold Ottawa winter. I would find a warm meal to eat and bed to sleep in at Shepherds. They were my only hope. Shepherds opened their doors to me when no one else would.” Jesse continues.

“Shepherds of Good Hope kept me alive.”

“I was that guy you would see begging on the corner of Murray Street and King Edward Avenue. I would wander around the ByWard Market, begging for money to buy drugs. I used to visit the Shepherds of Good Hope clothing program for my monthly ‘shopping.’ Because I was homeless, I couldn’t really wash my clothes, so I would use this program to help stay clean.”

RECONNECTING
In 2008, Jesse was arrested again. The judge gave him a choice: take rehab seriously or go to prison. During his time in rehab he managed to earn a high-school diploma and entered into a bridging program at Carleton University. From there, he enrolled at York University for his undergraduate degree and studied Indigenous History.

During his studies, he explored his family history. He reconnected with his creator.

He also learned about the intergenerational trauma faced by many Indigenous people, and recognized his place in that cycle of trauma. He discovered how unresolved trauma could manifest in self-destructive behaviours, and identified this as the root cause of his addiction issues.

More than 21% of Shepherds’ clients identify as Indigenous, and many share a history of trauma and abuse that has led to addiction and mental health challenges.

“INSIDE ALL OF US IS A PERSON WHO CAN SUCCEED”
Jesse continued his education as a master’s student at Waterloo University. In 2016, he was awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Trudeau Foundation Scholarship — the top two doctoral scholarships in the country. He is the resident scholar of Indigenous Homelessness at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. He was also awarded the Governor General’s Academic Medal.

Last September, Jesse began working towards a PhD at York University.

“Shepherds of Good Hope saved my life,” he says. “I’ve never forgotten my past, and the experiences which have helped shape who I am today. I am forever thankful Shepherds was there for me in my time of need. I am grateful they didn’t turn their backs on me because of my addiction. I’m grateful they helped give me a second chance.”

Jesse is also a monthly donor to Shepherds.

“Inside all of us is a person who can succeed, regardless of our past or present afflictions, he says. “Your donation to the Shepherds of Good Hope could be helping the next Trudeau-Vanier scholar, the next Governor General’s medallist.”

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

“It’s nice to wake up in the same place every day, instead of on the streets. It’s scary out there.”
– Jimmy, resident at The Oaks, the permanent residence facility of Shepherds of Good Hope’s Managed Alcohol Program

JIMMY’S STORY

When Jimmy first came to Shepherds of Good Hope in 2014, he had been living on the street for almost seven years. But it hadn’t always been that way.

Jimmy had owned and operated his own business in Northern Ontario, had a family, a wife and a home. When his business began to fail, he started to drink to help cope with the stress. When the business closed, his drinking got worse. When his wife couldn’t take his drinking any longer, she left him.

FEEDING HIS ADDICTION
Before he knew it, Jimmy was living on the streets. He was drinking whatever he could get his hands on to feed his addiction, including dangerous substances like mouthwash, rubbing alcohol and overproof cooking wine.

Jimmy spent eight months sleeping under a parked transport trailer.

Fighting to survive the harsh realities of life on the streets was exhausting, and by the time Jimmy arrived at our emergency shelter, he had lost all hope.

IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
Jimmy spent six months in Shepherds of Good Hope’s downtown Managed Alcohol Program (MAP), recovering from the trauma of life on the streets. There, Shepherds helped stabilize Jimmy, providing him with a warm place to sleep and three meals a day, and turned him away from drinking dangerous non-consumables.

When he was ready, he moved to The Oaks, the MAP’s supportive living facility, where he still lives.

When he speaks about his journey, Jimmy focuses on small things that others might easily take for granted: “It’s nice to wake up in the same place every day, instead of on the streets. You get beat up, robbed on the streets. It’s scary out there, especially at night. Not being able to shower, not knowing if you’ll eat. Now I have none of those worries,” he says.

“Now my biggest worry is just hoping this place never shuts down.”

UNEXPECTED PHONE CALLS
One of the greatest gifts Shepherds of Good Hope’s supportive housing gives its residents is the gift of reuniting them with their estranged family members.

Because of the stability our supportive housing facilities provide, it’s not uncommon for our residents to reunite with estranged family members. We often see a daughter reconnect with her parents, a father reconcile with his children, or siblings speak for the first time in years.

Recently, Jimmy received a phone call from his nephew, an OPP officer who lives in Northern Ontario. He had seen Jimmy in an episode of CBC’s The Fifth Estate that featured a story about The Oaks’ innovative harm-reduction program. He wanted to reach out to tell his uncle he was proud of him.

Not long after, Jimmy’s ex-wife called him. It was the first time they had spoken in years. She told him she was hopeful for his future.

And for the first time in a long time, Jimmy is hopeful for his future as well.

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

Full-time employment at the Good Day Workshop gave Jonah a chance to develop a healthy and stable schedule, engage in a recovery plan — and earn income.

JONAH’S STORY

Jonah was born in Hall Beach, Nunavut. He came to Ottawa as an adult, to be closer to family that lived in the area, and to take advantage of the opportunities the big city offered.

But things didn’t work out exactly as he had imagined. Jonah faced addiction and substance abuse challenges, and ended up living on the street, in and out of the shelter system.

NOT EMPLOYED, BUT STILL WORKING
During his years on the street, Jonah accessed Shepherds of Good Hope’s Transitional Emergency Shelter Program, where he worked with a case manager, and received services tailored to meet his specific needs.

Jonah was able to pick up odd jobs here and there, but despite showing tremendous work ethic and drive, never managed to secure sustainable, full-time employment.

To fill his time between jobs with meaningful activity, Jonah began assisting shelter staff and volunteering in the Shepherds’ kitchen. Staff took note of Jonah’s industrious nature and identified him as a potential candidate for the Rapid Housing and Employment Program (RHEP).

A GOOD DAY DAWNS
As soon as there was an opening, RHEP case workers offered Jonah employment at Shepherds of Good Hope’s social enterprise business, Good Day Workshop.

This full-time work experience gave Jonah the opportunity to develop a healthy and stable schedule, engage in a recovery plan — and earn income, which he saved to put toward acquiring his own home.

One of Jonah’s most cherished accomplishments arising from his employment at Good Day Workshop was being able to purchase gifts for his daughter and new grandchild back home in Nunavut.

Being able to reconnect with his family brought Jonah incredible joy.

And while Jonah was engaged in the RHEP program, his case manager helped him secure permanent housing. So, while this may be the end of Jonah’s time with Shepherds, it’s the beginning of a whole new chapter of his life.

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

There’s Hope Here

We know that every person has a particular history and unique potential. We believe that every person deserves access to the resources and opportunities to improve their life, at their own pace. Read some of our clients’ stories and see how far hope can take you.

CORRINE’S STORY

When it seemed she’d lost everything, Corinne found her path to recovery.

READ MORE

CORRINE’S STORY

Corinne, resident at The Oaks, the permanent residence facility of Shepherds of Good Hope’s Managed Alcohol Program

When it seemed she’d lost everything, Corinne found her path to recovery.

When Corinne arrived at Shepherds of Good Hope she had lost a lot: her home, her job, her boyfriend and her family. But after all that loss, she found her path to recovery.

“In all of my 51 years, this is the happiest I have ever been.”

– Corinne, resident at The Oaks

“A FUNCTIONAL ALCOHOLIC”
Corinne describes herself as having been “a functional alcoholic.” She started drinking when she was 33, and while she drank every day, she managed to hold down a job at a downtown Ottawa hotel, and had a boyfriend and a social life. She hid her drinking from her friends, family and her employer.

But as Corinne’s drinking habit worsened, she lost her job and could no longer keep her alcoholism a secret. With the support of her loved ones, she entered and completed a rehab program, but relapsed soon after.

When Corinne drank, she would often “drunk-dial” her parents, accusing them of ruining her life. When they stopped answering her calls, she moved on to calling other relatives and friends. Eventually, they also made the difficult choice of cutting Corinne, and her erratic and disruptive behaviour, out of their lives.

Living in small community south of Ottawa, Corinne felt isolated. She had no means of transportation and no job. She was drunk every day. Finally, in desperation, her boyfriend packed up her clothing and kicked her out of their home.

Scared, angry and alone, Corinne didn’t know where to turn. “I had never had any experience with homelessness or living on the street,” Corinne remembers.

DIAGNOSED AND STABILIZED
Fortunately, Shepherds was there for her. She was admitted to the Women’s Special Care Unit, where she lived for several months while her condition stabilized. Medical professionals diagnosed her with bipolar disorder and prescribed medication to manage her condition; the team at Shepherds helped her learn how to stabilize her mental health.

Once stabilized, she entered Shepherds’ internationally-renowned Managed Alcohol Program (MAP). Corinne’s health continued to improve, and she was offered a chance to move to The Oaks, the MAP’s supportive living facility. She became one of its first residents.

A LIFE TRANSFORMED
When the time was right, Corinne decided to reconnect with her parents. She was extremely nervous. She didn’t know if she could undo the years of damage caused by the anger and verbal abuse she had directed at them. Would they forgive her?

Her parents agreed to visit her for Christmas at The Oaks. When they arrived, Corinne started to cry. They forgave her. These days she talks with her mother and father on a weekly basis.

Today, Corinne’s life has been transformed thanks to the dedication of The Oaks staff and her own hard work. She starts her day off with a coffee and can often be seen carrying a water bottle. She’s chatty and upbeat. Occasionally she will spend an evening with friends. She has no desire to return to her binge-drinking days.

When asked what life is like today, Corinne pauses and collects her thoughts: “In all of my 51 years, this is the happiest I have ever been.”

DONATE ON CORINNE’S BEHALF

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

EMER’S STORY

Emer made Canada her home, then dedicated herself to helping the homeless.

READ MORE

EMER’S STORY

“If you’ve been fortunate in your own life, you should help others.”
– Emer Cronin, Shepherds of Good Hope volunteer and donor

In the early ’80s, Emer Cronin, along with her husband Barry and their two children, emigrated from Ireland to Canada. They thought it would be fun to try living in a different country for a couple of years.

Thirty-five years and two more children later, they’re still here.

NO REST ON SUNDAYS
It was Emer’s church that brought her to Shepherds of Good Hope. Since 1988, Divine Infant Church in Orleans has been supplying Shepherds of Good Hope’s kitchen with volunteers on Sundays in July and August — covering more weekends than any other parish in the city.

Emer got involved, helping coordinate 15–20 volunteers for each shift over the nine weekends in the summer, and leading a team that helped prepare and serve meals.

She discovered that she liked Shepherds’ inclusive atmosphere, and the fact that clients were treated with dignity and respect. So, when she had an opportunity to take Wednesdays off from her day job, she decided to use the time to volunteer at the Shepherds clothing program. It gave Emer an opportunity to make personal connections, and to serve a very real need in our community — something that matters deeply to her.

“THE NEED IS ENDLESS”
When asked about the impact she feels she makes, Emer says, “Sometimes it feels like a small drop in the ocean. The need is end­less. When I first moved here, I didn’t think Ottawa would have such a need, and it just keeps growing.”

The task of helping is daunting, but she says, “It’s so much better than not doing any­thing. It also gets the word out and spreads the message across the community.”

MORE THAN ONE WAY TO HELP
Emer believes that if you’ve been fortunate in your own life, you should help others. In fact, helping others is one of her core values, which is why Emer also chooses to donate generously to Shepherds of Good Hope on a monthly basis.

“You do what you can through volunteering, but you only have so many hours in a week. The money can be put to good use at any time.”

“You’re able to see the growth of the organization through innovative programs,” she says. “And you get to watch the funds help the various programs grow.”

Shepherds of Good Hope is grateful for our dedicated team of volunteers and monthly donors — people like Emer, who are helping us provide homes for all, community for all, and hope for all.
 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

GRACE’S STORY

Grace travelled from Rwanda to Canada in search of hope — but her journey was just the beginning.

READ MORE

GRACE’S STORY

Grace worked full time while studying at Queen’s University, and graduated debt free. It seemed like her life was on course.

Grace’s road to hope has been a long and winding one.

At the age of 21, Grace escaped the turmoil of her native Rwanda and journeyed to Canada to make a better life for herself. She ended up in Kingston, where she pursued an undergraduate degree in civil engineering at Queen’s University while holding down a full-time job. She graduated debt free and planned on continuing her studies and following a master’s program.

UPROOTED AGAIN
Grace met a charming, well-educated man and the two soon began dating — but as their relationship deepened, Grace learned that his appealing exterior hid a cruel, vicious personality. He was violent, and wouldn’t let Grace end their relationship. One day, when he tried to break down the door to her apartment, Grace’s screams prompted a neighbour to call 911.

Fearing for her life, Grace fled that night.

The man was known to police and had a documented history of abuse. The police suggested that Grace relocate to another city to escape him. Fearing for her life, Grace fled that night, leaving behind her job, her home and her dreams of higher education.

TEMPORARY SHELTER
She ended up on the doorstep of a shelter for abused women in Ottawa, where she lived for three months.

Around this time, Grace’s mother passed away suddenly. Grace travelled home to Rwanda for the funeral, a trip that exhausted her savings. When Grace returned to Ottawa, she was penniless, and without a place to call her own.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK
Grace found shelter at Shepherds of Good Hope. And while she stayed with us, a case manager worked with her to help her secure a permanent job, find housing and cover her moving expenses.

And now, after a long detour, Grace is finally back on the road to a brighter future.

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

JESSE’S STORY

Because Shepherds was there in his darkest hours, Jesse survived the street to become an award-winning scholar and advocate.

READ MORE

JESSE’S STORY

“Shepherds opened their doors to me when no one else would. They saved my life.”
– Jesse, former Shepherds of Good Hope resident and current PhD student

Jesse was born in a small Métis-Cree community in northern Saskatchewan.

His family has a history of trauma and addiction. Growing up, he struggled with understanding his identity, and eventually turned to drinking and drugs to help escape the pain he felt. He tried crack for the first time when he was 21, and for the next 11 years, his entire life revolved around getting high.

THE HARDEST YEARS
He would do anything to get his next fix, and that’s why, in 2006, Jesse was arrested for robbery. When it came time for sentencing, the judge took sympathy on him and agreed to release him under the condition he enter rehab and kick his habit. He enrolled in a rehab program in Ottawa, but soon ended up back on the streets. His addiction was too powerful.

Jesse states that the next two years were the hardest of years of his life. His drug completely took over his existence. He found himself sleeping in stairwells, alleyways and outside. He lost all hope.

And then he found Shepherds of Good Hope.

“I HAD NOTHING”
“Shepherds of Good Hope was there for me in my darkest hours. The worst period of my addiction was in 2007 and 2008, when I was most active in my drug use. During that time, when no other shelter would take me, I stayed at Shepherds of Good Hope. They were there for me during this critical time in my life.” says Jesse.

“I had nothing: no clothes, no food, no money and nowhere to stay. It was a brutally cold Ottawa winter. I would find a warm meal to eat and bed to sleep in at Shepherds. They were my only hope. Shepherds opened their doors to me when no one else would.” Jesse continues.

“Shepherds of Good Hope kept me alive.”

“I was that guy you would see begging on the corner of Murray Street and King Edward Avenue. I would wander around the ByWard Market, begging for money to buy drugs. I used to visit the Shepherds of Good Hope clothing program for my monthly ‘shopping.’ Because I was homeless, I couldn’t really wash my clothes, so I would use this program to help stay clean.”

RECONNECTING
In 2008, Jesse was arrested again. The judge gave him a choice: take rehab seriously or go to prison. During his time in rehab he managed to earn a high-school diploma and entered into a bridging program at Carleton University. From there, he enrolled at York University for his undergraduate degree and studied Indigenous History.

During his studies, he explored his family history. He reconnected with his creator.

He also learned about the intergenerational trauma faced by many Indigenous people, and recognized his place in that cycle of trauma. He discovered how unresolved trauma could manifest in self-destructive behaviours, and identified this as the root cause of his addiction issues.

More than 21% of Shepherds’ clients identify as Indigenous, and many share a history of trauma and abuse that has led to addiction and mental health challenges.

“INSIDE ALL OF US IS A PERSON WHO CAN SUCCEED”
Jesse continued his education as a master’s student at Waterloo University. In 2016, he was awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Trudeau Foundation Scholarship — the top two doctoral scholarships in the country. He is the resident scholar of Indigenous Homelessness at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. He was also awarded the Governor General’s Academic Medal.

Last September, Jesse began working towards a PhD at York University.

“Shepherds of Good Hope saved my life,” he says. “I’ve never forgotten my past, and the experiences which have helped shape who I am today. I am forever thankful Shepherds was there for me in my time of need. I am grateful they didn’t turn their backs on me because of my addiction. I’m grateful they helped give me a second chance.”

Jesse is also a monthly donor to Shepherds.

“Inside all of us is a person who can succeed, regardless of our past or present afflictions,
he says. “Your donation to the Shepherds of Good Hope could be helping the next Trudeau-Vanier scholar, the next Governor General’s medallist.”

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

JIMMY’S STORY

You may have seen Jimmy on CBC’s The Fifth Estate. Learn the rest of his story.

READ MORE

JIMMY’S STORY

“It’s nice to wake up in the same place every day, instead of on the streets. It’s scary out there.”
– Jimmy, resident at The Oaks, the permanent residence facility of Shepherds of Good Hope’s Managed Alcohol Program

When Jimmy first came to Shepherds of Good Hope in 2014, he had been living on the street for almost seven years. But it hadn’t always been that way.

Jimmy had owned and operated his own business in Northern Ontario, had a family, a wife and a home. When his business began to fail, he started to drink to help cope with the stress. When the business closed, his drinking got worse. When his wife couldn’t take his drinking any longer, she left him.

FEEDING HIS ADDICTION
Before he knew it, Jimmy was living on the streets. He was drinking whatever he could get his hands on to feed his addiction, including dangerous substances like mouthwash, rubbing alcohol and overproof cooking wine.

Jimmy spent eight months sleeping under a parked transport trailer.

Fighting to survive the harsh realities of life on the streets was exhausting, and by the time Jimmy arrived at our emergency shelter, he had lost all hope.

IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
Jimmy spent six months in Shepherds of Good Hope’s downtown Managed Alcohol Program (MAP), recovering from the trauma of life on the streets. There, Shepherds helped stabilize Jimmy, providing him with a warm place to sleep and three meals a day, and turned him away from drinking dangerous non-consumables.

When he was ready, he moved to The Oaks, the MAP’s supportive living facility, where he still lives.

When he speaks about his journey, Jimmy focuses on small things that others might easily take for granted: “It’s nice to wake up in the same place every day, instead of on the streets. You get beat up, robbed on the streets. It’s scary out there, especially at night. Not being able to shower, not knowing if you’ll eat. Now I have none of those worries,” he says.

“Now my biggest worry is just hoping this place never shuts down.”

UNEXPECTED PHONE CALLS
One of the greatest gifts Shepherds of Good Hope’s supportive housing gives its residents is the gift of reuniting them with their estranged family members.

Because of the stability our supportive housing facilities provide, it’s not uncommon for our residents to reunite with estranged family members. We often see a daughter reconnect with her parents, a father reconcile with his children, or siblings speak for the first time in years.

Recently, Jimmy received a phone call from his nephew, an OPP officer who lives in Northern Ontario. He had seen Jimmy in an episode of CBC’s The Fifth Estate that featured a story about The Oaks’ innovative harm-reduction program. He wanted to reach out to tell his uncle he was proud of him.

Not long after, Jimmy’s ex-wife called him. It was the first time they had spoken in years. She told him she was hopeful for his future.

And for the first time in a long time, Jimmy is hopeful for his future as well.

 

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JONAH’S STORY

Jonah’s path from the street to stable employment and a permanent home was through our Rapid Housing and Employment Program.

READ MORE

JONAH’S STORY

Full-time employment at the Good Day Workshop gave Jonah a chance to develop a healthy and stable schedule, engage in a recovery plan — and earn income.

Jonah was born in Hall Beach, Nunavut. He came to Ottawa as an adult, to be closer to family that lived in the area, and to take advantage of the opportunities the big city offered.

But things didn’t work out exactly as he had imagined. Jonah faced addiction and substance abuse challenges, and ended up living on the street, in and out of the shelter system.

NOT EMPLOYED, BUT STILL WORKING
During his years on the street, Jonah accessed Shepherds of Good Hope’s Transitional Emergency Shelter Program, where he worked with a case manager, and received services tailored to meet his specific needs.

Jonah was able to pick up odd jobs here and there, but despite showing tremendous work ethic and drive, never managed to secure sustainable, full-time employment.

To fill his time between jobs with meaningful activity, Jonah began assisting shelter staff and volunteering in the Shepherds’ kitchen. Staff took note of Jonah’s industrious nature and identified him as a potential candidate for the Rapid Housing and Employment Program (RHEP).

A GOOD DAY DAWNS
As soon as there was an opening, RHEP case workers offered Jonah employment at Shepherds of Good Hope’s social enterprise business, Good Day Workshop.

This full-time work experience gave Jonah the opportunity to develop a healthy and stable schedule, engage in a recovery plan — and earn income, which he saved to put toward acquiring his own home.

One of Jonah’s most cherished accomplishments arising from his employment at Good Day Workshop was being able to purchase gifts for his daughter and new grandchild back home in Nunavut.

Being able to reconnect with his family brought Jonah incredible joy.

And while Jonah was engaged in the RHEP program, his case manager helped him secure permanent housing. So, while this may be the end of Jonah’s time with Shepherds, it’s the beginning of a whole new chapter of his life.

 

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KIM’S STORY

For most of her life, Kim has been in search of a safe home. She finally found one at Brigid’s Place.

READ MORE

STEVE’S STORY

Steve had a dream of helping the homeless. Literally.

READ MORE

TEREZA’S STORY

Tereza’s drinking was out of control. She was suicidal. And then, she found Shepherds.

READ MORE

Kim “just couldn’t catch a break” — until she found a home at Brigid’s Place.

KIM’S STORY

For most of her life, Kim has been in search of a safe home. She finally found one at Shepherds of Good Hope’s supportive housing facility for women, Brigid’s Place.

ADRIFT
Kim had a rough start in life. Severe childhood abuse left Kim with mental and physical scars. She ran away from home when she was just 15 years old. She moved from town to town, picking up whatever odd jobs she could find. She often worked as a waitress, barely making ends meet.

After 14 years of drifting, Kim attempted to put down roots in Ottawa. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, whom she named Harly. She tells anyone who will listen how Harly became the love of her life the moment she laid eyes on him. Harly is her greatest joy, her reason for living.

When you live on the street, taking care of a child is next to impossible.

But Kim was living on the street, and when you live on the street, taking care of a child is next to impossible. Kim had to give Harly up to live in foster care.

Kim continued to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from her years of abuse. In her own words, she “just couldn’t catch a break.” When life started to turn for the better, her anxiety would cripple her, foiling her attempts at finding happiness.

Until 2001, when Kim found a home at Brigid’s Place.

BRIGID’S PLACE
Brigid’s Place is the first supportive housing program in Ottawa designed specifically for women who have experienced long-term homelessness, and who are living with concurrent mental health challenges and addictions.

Many of the women who reside at Brigid’s Place have also been involved in the sex trade or the criminal justice system, or, like Kim, have experienced significant trauma.

At Brigid’s Place, women find the support and resources they need to begin to regain control of their lives. For many, this is the first home they’ve known in years, a refuge from the physical, mental and emotional dangers of living on the street.

Brigid’s Place offers an opportunity to think about the future, to one day hope for more independence. The women are included in all the decisions made at Brigid’s Place — a practice that sends the message that this is a home to call their own.

“A SAFE PLACE”
At last, Kim can see a future for herself. Living at Brigid’s Place, she has learned how to set rules and how to follow them. By coming together with the other women, she has realized that a home can and should be a safe place.

Her next step is to try independent housing again, this time with her partner Rob.

And now that she has found stability and safety, Kim has also reconnected with her son, Harly. They speak often, and Kim always has good news to share with him.

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

“Mental health is such a big contributor to homelessness and people need to recognize that.
– Steve MacIntosh, Senior Assistant Manager, Shepherds of Good Hope

STEVE’S STORY

One night in 1998, Steve MacIntosh awoke suddenly from a dream in which he was working at a shelter.

A few days later, when he saw an advertisement for a front-line position at Shepherds of Good Hope, he remembered the dream, and took the coincidence as a sign. “I figured, what the heck, what did I have to lose? So, I applied, and the rest is history!” he says.

FAST FORWARD 20 YEARS
Steve is now the Senior Assistant Manager at Shepherds, acting as the central coordinator for all our programs.

When asked what he likes best about his job, Steve struggles to choose.

When asked what he likes best about his job, Steve struggles to choose — probably because he does so much. He works with people at the main downtown shelter and kitchen, but also manages communications between Shepherds’ six satellite locations.
He helps resolve client issues, deals with emergency scheduling issues and supports staff in various ways — something new every day.

“IT REALLY HELPS YOU AS A PERSON”
But when pressed to identify what makes his job so fulfilling, he says, “Of course, the clients! They’re the heart and soul of why we’re here. They’re so genuine.”

He adds that there’s an “insight into humanity that working at a homeless shelter provides. We deal with so much emotion every single day working here. These experiences and the insight you gain from them really help you as a person, in an overall sense.”

Steve also cherishes the opportunity to interact and support his colleagues. (Not to mention the infamous Shepherds of Good Hope Chili Cook-Off.)

“IT’S NOT A CHOICE”
Steve’s biggest frustration is the misconceptions he hears when people talk about homelessness. He wants people to understand that homelessness is not a choice, and that people are not homeless because they’re “lazy” or they “choose” to live on the street.

People are not homeless because they’re “lazy” or they “choose” to live on the street.

“That’s just not true,” he says. “People are here for a variety of reasons, including addictions and/or mental health issues. Mental health is such a big contributor to homelessness, and people need to recognize that. It’s not a choice for a lot of people here, it’s more of a way to survive.”

But it was Steve’s choice to join us here at Shepherds of Good Hope — and on behalf of all our employees, volunteers and clients, we’re glad he did.

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

“My drinking was out of control. I was suicidal. Then, a miracle happened — I found Shepherds of Good Hope.
– Tereza, resident at Shepherds of Good Hope’s supportive housing facility, St. Andrew’s Residence

TEREZA’S STORY

When Tereza was just 15 years old, she was forced to flee from her village in Sudan, where a violent civil war had claimed the lives of her entire family. Thankfully, the United Nations helped her come to Canada as a refugee.

“I can still remember how it felt when I landed in Toronto — hopeful. I knew I was finally going to have a better life,” says Tereza.

But things didn’t work out as she had imagined.

“TAKING THE EDGE OFF”
In Toronto, Tereza was introduced to alcohol. At first, drinking helped take the edge off of living in a strange new place. But only at first. Life in the big city became too much for her, and alcohol wasn’t making it any better.

Tereza moved to Ottawa to try and get her life back on track, but in her new home, her drinking habit only got worse. She tried a number of programs to quit, but none of them seemed to work.

Eventually, she was evicted from her apartment.

“My drinking was out of control. I was suicidal…I wanted to die. Then, a miracle happened — I found Shepherds of Good Hope. And that’s when everything changed.” Tereza remembers.

A DIAGNOSIS, A WAY FORWARD
She didn’t know it when she landed in Canada, but Tereza lives with serious mental health challenges. When she arrived at Shepherds, the staff helped her find a doctor who diagnosed her with schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. The doctor told her that in order for her to get better, she needed to stop drinking.

Before her diagnosis, Tereza had been drinking to help cope with the symptoms of her illnesses. But at Shepherds, she was able to get the support she needed to understand and manage her disorders.

“That was 23 years ago, and I have been sober ever since.”

“Thanks to Shepherds of Good Hope, I was able to turn my life around. That was 23 years ago, and I have been sober ever since,” Tereza says with pride.

“A HEALING PLACE”
Tereza spent two years in the Shepherds shelter, finding the stability she needed to regain control of her life. When she was ready, her Shepherds case worker helped her move into St. Andrew’s Residence — our supportive housing facility for men and women who suffer from mental health challenges and addictions, but who are able to live with a high level of independence.

“It’s such a healing place. The program staff are so supportive and are always there to help when you need them.” Tereza says.

Since moving to St. Andrew’s Residence, Tereza has redeveloped basic life skills, such as cooking and cleaning. She has also been able to continue her education, and is working on completing her high school diploma — something she never thought would be possible.

GIVING BACK
Tereza even finds the time to give back to her community by volunteering. Tereza uses her past experiences to help others who are suffering from mental health challenges. “It’s one of my greatest achievements. And it’s all because of Shepherds of Good Hope,” she says.

“All this is possible because of you.”

Tereza holds a special place in her heart for donors and volunteers who support Shepherds of Good Hope.

“All this is possible because of you,” she says. “I often wonder where I would be right now if you hadn’t taken the time to support Shepherds. I am grateful to call St. Andrew’s Residence my home, and I am grateful for people like you.”

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

WENDY’S STORY

Wendy knows she won’t be forgotten when her time comes to depart this life. Learn about her legacy.

READ MORE

“Teaching my family the importance of being altruistic and caring for others through my generosity is my lasting gift to them.”
– Wendy Stewart, Shepherds of Good Hope donor

WENDY’S STORY

Wendy Stewart is 90 years young.

She often says she knows she’s old, but she doesn’t fear her age. She knows she won’t be forgotten when her time comes to depart this life. Her values will be upheld, and her legacy will live on — in part through the people she helps with her generous support of Shepherds of Good Hope.

35 YEARS OF SUPPORT
Wendy is proud to say she’s been supporting Shepherds of Good Hope for almost 35 years. She feels an immense sense of pride knowing her support has helped Shepherds become the organization it is today; she likens it to watching one of her beloved children grow and mature.

Wendy was born and raised in London, England and moved to Canada in 1955. She worked as a nurse in England, and upon her arrival in Canada was hired on almost immediately at the General Hospital. She laughs quietly as she recalls, “It was much easier to get a job back in those days — it seemed all you needed was a strong work ethic and a dedication to your role.”

Wendy came to charity through her church, and gives to charities she feels have the greatest need.

Wendy lived in Lowertown when Shepherds of Good Hope was just starting. On her way to and from work, she would see the lineup of hungry people waiting outside Shepherds’ doors for the kitchen to open. Supporting Shepherds’ work made sense to her — helping those in need, in her own community.

She became a donor, and as her means grew, so did her support for the cause.

A BEACON OF HOPE
Wendy has two daughters and two granddaughters, whom she loves dearly. She feels blessed that they are healthy and prosperous. She knows that when she is gone, they will be well cared for and lead comfortable lives.

She wishes the same for the less fortunate, and that’s why she became a member of the Beacon of Hope Society for legacy donors — ensuring she can continue to help after she’s gone, by including Shepherds of Good Hope in her will.

“By ensuring my support of Shepherds of Good Hope continues past my death, I am ensuring there continues to be a guiding light for those in need.”

People often ask Wendy how her family feels, knowing she has left a portion of her estate to a cause near to her heart — and she tells them that her loved ones couldn’t be happier. Wendy claims transparency has made the experience of leaving a bequest even more enjoyable, as her family is able to share in her wishes while she’s still around.

“Money may come and go, but teaching my family the importance of being altruistic and caring for others through my generosity is my lasting gift to them,” she says.

“I believe Shepherds does a fantastic job being a leader in compassionate care for our community’s homeless. I like that they serve women and men equally and provide innovative housing solutions to those who are hardest to serve,” she continues.

OUR WORK IS HER LEGACY
Wendy will be turning 91 soon, and while she’s not sure how long she has left in this world, she knows she can continue to help us foster hope and reduce harm in Ottawa.

“What causes are important to you?” she asks. “Which of your values do you hope will be upheld after you pass? And what can you do to ensure that happens?”

Wendy knows she’s helped change many lives through her support of Shepherds of Good Hope. And now, she has the satisfaction of knowing that, with her help, Shepherds will continue to provide homes for all, community for all — and hope for all.

Or, as she puts it, simply, “Their work will be part of my legacy.”

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

KIRA’S STORY

 

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JOHN’S STORY

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

KIM’S STORY

For most of her life, Kim has been in search of a safe home. She finally found one at Brigid’s Place.

READ MORE

KIM’S STORY

Kim “just couldn’t catch a break” — until she found a home at Brigid’s Place.

For most of her life, Kim has been in search of a safe home. She finally found one at Shepherds of Good Hope’s supportive housing facility for women, Brigid’s Place.

ADRIFT
Kim had a rough start in life. Severe childhood abuse left Kim with mental and physical scars. She ran away from home when she was just 15 years old. She moved from town to town, picking up whatever odd jobs she could find. She often worked as a waitress, barely making ends meet.

After 14 years of drifting, Kim attempted to put down roots in Ottawa. She gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, whom she named Harly. She tells anyone who will listen how Harly became the love of her life the moment she laid eyes on him. Harly is her greatest joy, her reason for living.

When you live on the street, taking care of a child is next to impossible.

But Kim was living on the street, and when you live on the street, taking care of a child is next to impossible. Kim had to give Harly up to live in foster care.

Kim continued to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from her years of abuse. In her own words, she “just couldn’t catch a break.” When life started to turn for the better, her anxiety would cripple her, foiling her attempts at finding happiness.

Until 2001, when Kim found a home at Brigid’s Place.

BRIGID’S PLACE
Brigid’s Place is the first supportive housing program in Ottawa designed specifically for women who have experienced long-term homelessness, and who are living with concurrent mental health challenges and addictions.

Many of the women who reside at Brigid’s Place have also been involved in the sex trade or the criminal justice system, or, like Kim, have experienced significant trauma.

At Brigid’s Place, women find the support and resources they need to begin to regain control of their lives. For many, this is the first home they’ve known in years, a refuge from the physical, mental and emotional dangers of living on the street.

Brigid’s Place offers an opportunity to think about the future, to one day hope for more independence. The women are included in all the decisions made at Brigid’s Place — a practice that sends the message that this is a home to call their own.

“A SAFE PLACE”
At last, Kim can see a future for herself. Living at Brigid’s Place, she has learned how to set rules and how to follow them. By coming together with the other women, she has realized that a home can and should be a safe place.

Her next step is to try independent housing again, this time with her partner Rob.

And now that she has found stability and safety, Kim has also reconnected with her son, Harly. They speak often, and Kim always has good news to share with him.

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

STEVE’S STORY

Steve had a dream of helping the homeless. Literally.

READ MORE

STEVE’S STORY

Steve had a dream of helping the homeless. Literally.

One night in 1998, Steve MacIntosh awoke suddenly from a dream in which he was working at a shelter.

A few days later, when he saw an advertisement for a front-line position at Shepherds of Good Hope, he remembered the dream, and took the coincidence as a sign. “I figured, what the heck, what did I have to lose? So, I applied, and the rest is history!” he says.

FAST FORWARD 20 YEARS
Steve is now the Senior Assistant Manager at Shepherds, acting as the central coordinator for all our programs.

When asked what he likes best about his job, Steve struggles to choose.

When asked what he likes best about his job, Steve struggles to choose — probably because he does so much. He works with people at the main downtown shelter and kitchen, but also manages communications between Shepherds’ six satellite locations.
He helps resolve client issues, deals with emergency scheduling issues and supports staff in various ways — something new every day.

“IT REALLY HELPS YOU AS A PERSON”
But when pressed to identify what makes his job so fulfilling, he says, “Of course, the clients! They’re the heart and soul of why we’re here. They’re so genuine.”

He adds that there’s an “insight into humanity that working at a homeless shelter provides. We deal with so much emotion every single day working here. These experiences and the insight you gain from them really help you as a person, in an overall sense.”

Steve also cherishes the opportunity to interact and support his colleagues. (Not to mention the infamous Shepherds of Good Hope Chili Cook-Off.)

“IT’S NOT A CHOICE”
Steve’s biggest frustration is the misconceptions he hears when people talk about homelessness. He wants people to understand that homelessness is not a choice, and that people are not homeless because they’re “lazy” or they “choose” to live on the street.

People are not homeless because they’re “lazy” or they “choose” to live on the street.

“That’s just not true,” he says. “People are here for a variety of reasons, including addictions and/or mental health issues. Mental health is such a big contributor to homelessness, and people need to recognize that. It’s not a choice for a lot of people here, it’s more of a way to survive.”

But it was Steve’s choice to join us here at Shepherds of Good Hope — and on behalf of all our employees, volunteers and clients, we’re glad he did.

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

TEREZA’S STORY

Tereza’s drinking was out of control. She was suicidal. And then, she found Shepherds.

READ MORE

GRACE’S STORY

“My drinking was out of control. I was suicidal. Then, a miracle happened — I found Shepherds of Good Hope.
– Tereza, resident at Shepherds of Good Hope’s supportive housing facility, St. Andrew’s Residence

When Tereza was just 15 years old, she was forced to flee from her village in Sudan, where a violent civil war had claimed the lives of her entire family. Thankfully, the United Nations helped her come to Canada as a refugee.

“I can still remember how it felt when I landed in Toronto — hopeful. I knew I was finally going to have a better life,” says Tereza.

But things didn’t work out as she had imagined.

“TAKING THE EDGE OFF”
In Toronto, Tereza was introduced to alcohol. At first, drinking helped take the edge off of living in a strange new place. But only at first. Life in the big city became too much for her, and alcohol wasn’t making it any better.

Tereza moved to Ottawa to try and get her life back on track, but in her new home, her drinking habit only got worse. She tried a number of programs to quit, but none of them seemed to work.

Eventually, she was evicted from her apartment.

“My drinking was out of control. I was suicidal…I wanted to die. Then, a miracle happened — I found Shepherds of Good Hope. And that’s when everything changed.” Tereza remembers.

A DIAGNOSIS, A WAY FORWARD
She didn’t know it when she landed in Canada, but Tereza lives with serious mental health challenges. When she arrived at Shepherds, the staff helped her find a doctor who diagnosed her with schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. The doctor told her that in order for her to get better, she needed to stop drinking.

Before her diagnosis, Tereza had been drinking to help cope with the symptoms of her illnesses. But at Shepherds, she was able to get the support she needed to understand and manage her disorders.

“That was 23 years ago, and I have been sober ever since.”

“Thanks to Shepherds of Good Hope, I was able to turn my life around. That was 23 years ago, and I have been sober ever since,” Tereza says with pride.

“A HEALING PLACE”
Tereza spent two years in the Shepherds shelter, finding the stability she needed to regain control of her life. When she was ready, her Shepherds case worker helped her move into St. Andrew’s Residence — our supportive housing facility for men and women who suffer from mental health challenges and addictions, but who are able to live with a high level of independence.

“It’s such a healing place. The program staff are so supportive and are always there to help when you need them.” Tereza says.

Since moving to St. Andrew’s Residence, Tereza has redeveloped basic life skills, such as cooking and cleaning. She has also been able to continue her education, and is working on completing her high school diploma — something she never thought would be possible.

GIVING BACK
Tereza even finds the time to give back to her community by volunteering. Tereza uses her past experiences to help others who are suffering from mental health challenges. “It’s one of my greatest achievements. And it’s all because of Shepherds of Good Hope,” she says.

“All this is possible because of you.”

Tereza holds a special place in her heart for donors and volunteers who support Shepherds of Good Hope.

“All this is possible because of you,” she says. “I often wonder where I would be right now if you hadn’t taken the time to support Shepherds. I am grateful to call St. Andrew’s Residence my home, and I am grateful for people like you.”

 

DONATE ON BEHALF


 

WENDY’S STORY

“Teaching my family the importance of being altruistic and caring for others through my generosity is my lasting gift to them.”
– Wendy Stewart, Shepherds of Good Hope donor

READ MORE

JESSE’S STORY

“Teaching my family the importance of being altruistic and caring for others through my generosity is my lasting gift to them.”
– Wendy Stewart, Shepherds of Good Hope donor

WENDY’S STORY

Wendy Stewart is 90 years young.

She often says she knows she’s old, but she doesn’t fear her age. She knows she won’t be forgotten when her time comes to depart this life. Her values will be upheld, and her legacy will live on — in part through the people she helps with her generous support of Shepherds of Good Hope.

35 YEARS OF SUPPORT
Wendy is proud to say she’s been supporting Shepherds of Good Hope for almost 35 years. She feels an immense sense of pride knowing her support has helped Shepherds become the organization it is today; she likens it to watching one of her beloved children grow and mature.

Wendy was born and raised in London, England and moved to Canada in 1955. She worked as a nurse in England, and upon her arrival in Canada was hired on almost immediately at the General Hospital. She laughs quietly as she recalls, “It was much easier to get a job back in those days — it seemed all you needed was a strong work ethic and a dedication to your role.”

Wendy came to charity through her church, and gives to charities she feels have the greatest need.

Wendy lived in Lowertown when Shepherds of Good Hope was just starting. On her way to and from work, she would see the lineup of hungry people waiting outside Shepherds’ doors for the kitchen to open. Supporting Shepherds’ work made sense to her — helping those in need, in her own community.

She became a donor, and as her means grew, so did her support for the cause.

A BEACON OF HOPE
Wendy has two daughters and two granddaughters, whom she loves dearly. She feels blessed that they are healthy and prosperous. She knows that when she is gone, they will be well cared for and lead comfortable lives.

She wishes the same for the less fortunate, and that’s why she became a member of the Beacon of Hope Society for legacy donors — ensuring she can continue to help after she’s gone, by including Shepherds of Good Hope in her will.

“By ensuring my support of Shepherds of Good Hope continues past my death, I am ensuring there continues to be a guiding light for those in need.”

People often ask Wendy how her family feels, knowing she has left a portion of her estate to a cause near to her heart — and she tells them that her loved ones couldn’t be happier. Wendy claims transparency has made the experience of leaving a bequest even more enjoyable, as her family is able to share in her wishes while she’s still around.

“Money may come and go, but teaching my family the importance of being altruistic and caring for others through my generosity is my lasting gift to them,” she says.

“I believe Shepherds does a fantastic job being a leader in compassionate care for our community’s homeless. I like that they serve women and men equally and provide innovative housing solutions to those who are hardest to serve,” she continues.

OUR WORK IS HER LEGACY
Wendy will be turning 91 soon, and while she’s not sure how long she has left in this world, she knows she can continue to help us foster hope and reduce harm in Ottawa.

“What causes are important to you?” she asks. “Which of your values do you hope will be upheld after you pass? And what can you do to ensure that happens?”

Wendy knows she’s helped change many lives through her support of Shepherds of Good Hope. And now, she has the satisfaction of knowing that, with her help, Shepherds will continue to provide homes for all, community for all — and hope for all.

Or, as she puts it, simply, “Their work will be part of my legacy.”

 

DONATE ON BEHALF