Meet Jack

Your support meant when Jack needed help, Shepherds of Good Hope was there.

I live by the philosophy that the life you save today might be the life that saves you tomorrow.

My name is Jack, and, thanks to people just like you, I have found a stable and supportive place to call home.

When you think of your childhood, what memories come flooding back? I hope they are good ones full of laughter and love. For me, I try to avoid them.

I grew up with my five siblings near Cornwall. So, while I wasn’t ever really alone, I was on my own, if that makes sense. My father struggled with drinking and I suffered unspeakable abuse at the hands of someone in our community. My youth, while full of faith, was overshadowed by darkness. And, even though I still don’t like to talk about it, I thought you’d like to know who your kindness supports.

I moved to Ottawa when I was just eighteen. It was a fresh start, a chance to leave my past behind. I met my wife Judith, and the year I turned 20, we celebrated the arrival of our daughter. We were creating a wonderful life together, but the darkness crept back in. And while I was fighting to let go of all of my past trauma, my wife also was in a fight for her life. She had developed a debilitating medical condition.

As my wife’s illness progressed, I lost myself; I was taking care of her, my daughter, and now my grandchildren. I felt responsible for the well-being of so many people. As I entered my early fifties, my family was upended. Judith was moved into a care facility, and I was admitted to the hospital for my mental health.

That hospital stay changed my life – the care team referred me to Shepherds of Good Hope. This brought me to the doors of Hope Living where I was welcomed with open arms. I’m doing well now, but can I count on you to donate this summer so more people, just like me, can find hope?

As a child I remember thinking when people died, they were the lucky ones. I struggled with thoughts like this my entire life. The thoughts consumed me, but Shepherds was there to help me work through them. The staff at Hope Living have a way of helping me improve my mood; no matter how bad my day is, they help pick me up. I participate in the activities Hope Living offers like bingo, crafts, gardening, cards, and karaoke. I discovered I was hiding a lot of my anxiety inside, and these activities help me let it out.

More than that, it helped me realize how resilient I was and how much I had to give back to my community.

While my childhood was filled with darkness, I often think back fondly on my Uncle Percy, who said to me, “If I could give you one gift, it would be the gift of confidence.”

You can give that gift of confidence not only to me but to so many others as well.

In the last year, Hope Living added eight new apartments. Eight more people are on the road to finding their own confidence and stability, in a supportive home, thanks to the commitment and compassion of people of you.

After almost nine years at Hope Living, I have built a brand-new life for myself. I visit my wife, my daughter, and my grandchildren frequently. I can share my knowledge and life lessons with my grandchildren. I love taking them to musical events, playing a good chess game, or just chatting with them about life.

Shepherds of Good Hope is working hard to create more than 100 new supportive housing units across our city. Your support plays a big part in making that a reality.

Please consider making a donation today. Because of you, someone who is homeless today will have a home tomorrow!

My journey is far from over. I will continue to look for ways to serve the community and help my neighbours. And when there are days I am feeling low, I know you and Shepherds of Good Hope will be there for me.

As I always remind myself, while “uniqueness makes the world go round, friendship is our common ground”. Thank you for being such a supportive friend to so many in our community.

With much gratitude and love,

Jack

Success stories like Jack’s happen every day at Shepherds of Good Hope, but we need your support to make them a reality. Please donate so that more people, just like Jack, can have a permanent home of their own.