Posted on December 13, 2019
Surviving the day – and night – can be an overwhelming challenge for men and women who are on the streets or at risk of becoming homeless. Many people who are homeless are also battling the effects of past trauma, addiction and mental illness, which can lead to isolation and exclusion.
At NightShift, we know that offering comfort through community, and creating opportunities for connection and support, can help restore dignity and encourage someone in need on their journey.
NightShift’s mission is to love unconditionally and help each other find hope and purpose. We do this by providing a hot meal, clothing essentials, warm blankets, nursing care and counselling. Since 2004, NightShift has served more than half a million meals!
A simple meal can lead to so much more. As it did with Amira.
Amira’s struggles began in 2015, when she survived a terrible car crash that took her left forearm. After the accident, her husband became increasingly violent to her. Because of the abuse, he went to jail and Amira’s four children were taken into foster care. Alone, she sank into addiction to numb the pain, and eventually she lost her home too.
Amira started coming to NightShift’s evening meal outreach almost every night, for something to eat, some clothes and a welcoming community. “I became one of the addicts out here. I ran away from my own family because I didn’t want them to see me that way,” Amira says.
At NightShift, Amira found a hot meal, and then something more. She found hope and a sense of community. “Feeding us keeps us healthy, but it’s more than that,” Amira shares. “I’ve always felt love from the staff and volunteers here. What NightShift does for people on the street is above and beyond what anybody does for us. It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”
Every night after the food was served, a NightShift volunteer would ask Amira if she had a prayer request. And every night, she would answer, “no”. But one night, Amira finally decided to say “yes”. She asked the volunteer to pray she would get clean, and that her kids would be okay. And that’s when things started to change.
Amira made a brave and firm decision to quit using, and struggled through the first days of withdrawal, while sleeping in a shelter. She returned to NightShift every night for a month, for something to eat and prayer for another day clean.
Amira’s story doesn’t end there. Today, she is in a treatment centre, with over two months clean time. She will spend Christmas with her four children. “NightShift showed me hope,” Amira shares. “They showed me I’m not a lost cause, and that people do care about me.”
This Christmas, will you share hope with people in need with a gift to our ministry?
We are once again planning a special turkey dinner with our community. Will you join us in making that dinner go further? A gift of $35 provides 10 people in need with a nourishing meal served in a welcoming community, with access to emergency nursing, crisis counselling, care packages, clothing and more.
Our outreach – and our hearts – are always open, 365 nights a year.