Hope has a name, when we connect over a hot meal

by NightShift

There was a time in Summer’s life she avoided people struggling on the street. Now, she can’t wait to learn their names and get to know them.

Summer joined NightShift’s staff team last year, and brought with her a deep understanding of why we reach out, 365 nights a year, to people struggling with homelessness, poverty, addictions and mental illness.

“NightShift is about more than simply handing out a meal and a blanket and sending people on their way,” Summer shares. “It’s about genuine connection and friendships. That’s the really special piece – their souls and spirits are being cared for too.”

Like many of us, Summer has journeyed from a place of avoiding people on the street, into one of compassionate connection.

“I used to think people who were experiencing homelessness should just pull themselves up by the bootstraps,” Summer says. Then, several years ago when she was a Bible College student, Summer went on an experiential learning trip to a marginalized neighbourhood, and her heart began to change.
 
“I came to realize that everyone on the street, everyone in addiction, is made in the image of God. Everyone’s life has value.”

Today, Summer, is NightShift’s Volunteer/Program Coordinator, and she also leads a volunteer outreach team. One of her favourite things about her job is learning the names of our street friends.

“A few weeks ago, I met a woman at our outreach meal, Jean, who navigates life with one arm and one leg,” Summer recalls. “When I remembered her name the next week, Jean just lit up, she was so happy to be seen. People are desperate for connection, especially in this pandemic.”

NightShift’s hot meal outreach, every night in Surrey and four nights a week in Langley, provides connection with people in need. Special holiday meals, like NightShift’s Easter Dinner this weekend, are no exception.

“There is something about sharing a full holiday meal that is very special,” Summer says. “It helps provide hope, and that changes lives.”

As NightShift prepares to serve a special Easter Dinner with our friends in need, we invite you to join us in sharing hope by considering a monthly gift in support of our outreach ministry.

This Easter and beyond, you can help share a hot meal, love, hope and purpose with hundreds of people in need in our neighbourhoods.

Will you join Love365, NightShift’s family of monthly donors? $35 a month provides 10 vulnerable people with a hot meal, clothing and access to further support, 365 nights a year.

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