Since 2015, Surrey has seen a 50% rise in homelessness.
Surviving the day – and night – can be an overwhelming challenge for men and women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Love365, NightShift’s family of monthly donors, are a group of caring neighbours who know that offering comfort through Christ-centred community, and creating opportunities for connection and support, can help restore dignity and encourage someone in need.
You can care for your neighbours in need today.
By giving to NightShift every month as a member of Love365, you can provide vulnerable men and women with a welcoming community, a warm meal, and clothing 365 nights a year, plus access to crisis counselling and emergency nursing.
As a member of Love365, you support people like George.
George is one of NightShift’s regulars. Most nights we see George at our outreach meal, helping volunteers, joining new faces for dinner and carrying on conversations with the friends he’s made over the years at NightShift.
Born and raised in Fiji, George came to Canada when he was 16 and completed high school here. After graduation he joined CP Rail as a railway car mechanic.
He first came to NightShift in 2011, when he was homeless and active in his addiction. “I had a lot of anger and frustration,” George explains. “That led me to using drugs. Over time, it became out of control.”
That first hot meal had a huge impact on George. “Good food changes your body and your mind,” George says. “If you are a street person and an alcoholic or addict, and you don’t have access to good food, you’re just never going to get out of that place.”
George eventually did get out of that place. His journey to recovery began with that first meal, and with the unconditional love he received from volunteers and outreach staff. “I got to know all the people on all the different nights,” he says. “I started looking at the way they behaved, how they communicated with people like me. I started learning from them.”
George’s favourite part of the nightly meal at NightShift is the Prayer Circle. During the meal, a group of faithful volunteers will spend time chatting with our guests and asking for prayer requests. Then afterwards, the volunteers and anyone wishing to join them, form a circle and lift up the needs of our community in prayer to God.
As George participated in Prayer Circle night after night, he started to experience changes in his own life. “When I would relapse, every time I would come back to the Prayer Circle,” George says. “My relapses would last a shorter and shorter period of time. Prayer Circle helped me to see another way of doing things.”
George now encourages other guests to share prayer requests and to join the circle.
“I tell them, if you want to change your life, it doesn’t matter whether you believe in God or not,” he says. “You can join the Prayer Circle and you can maybe learn something out of it. Prayer shows goodness to people. It shows people what kind of life they can have if they come on this side of the mountain, you know?”
George has been clean and sober for 8 years, and now lives with his sister, while he hopes for a place of his own. He attends our nightly meal because he wants to help others who are where he once was. “The only way to connect with them is by joining them in the meal,” George explains.
“I help them by sharing the experiences I went through in my own life. I always like to share the story and tell the truth, because now I have a different life.”
$30 a month provides vulnerable men and women with a hug, a hot meal, clothing, and access to basic medical care and crisis counselling this Easter and the remaining 365 nights a year our outreach – and hearts – are open.
Will you join Love365, NightShift’s family of monthly donors, and show love, hope and purpose to those in need?