A Saanich woman who cares for her autistic teen nephew said she was greatly helped by Victoria Citadel Salvation Army during a breaking point in her life.
With no children of her own, Kelley Sherin took in 16-year-old Jordan in September to provide him with the care he deserves – but wasn’t receiving.
Jordan had moved around a lot within his extended family prior to moving in with Sherin. Being the only adult within her family who was single and able, she felt it was time to advocate for him by providing a consistent and loving home base.
However, Sherin had issues of her own before Jordan moved in. She had trouble finding appropriate housing and found herself homeless for two weeks before finding a basement suite through sharing her story in an online ad.
Moving costs and paying her initial rent rendered her basically penniless once they’d moved in, so she was forced to search for a food bank, which ultimately led her to Victoria Citadel.
“I found the Salvation Army downtown and was then promptly directed to the Citadel, which also happens to be just a few blocks from where I live,” she said.
She was welcomed with open arms by Michelle O’Connor, community ministries director, and the onsite pastor.
“Michelle encouraged me to be open about how I was really doing – from physical and mental, to emotional and spiritual,” Sherin said.
She was then assisted with food and one-on-one practical support through joining the Next Steps Program offered by the organization.
Sherin and Jordan attended a movie night a few weeks later where families came together to enjoy games, treats, and door prizes, and Jordan is now a part of the youth group.
“He said that he lives for youth group – and that was only after going one time!” Sherin said.
With the support from Victoria Citadel, she feels immense relief knowing she has others to lean on when times are difficult. Having gone from being an independent career woman with no one else to support but herself to a single parent in survival mode within a short time period – Sherin was humbled by how quickly life’s circumstances can change.
Community support from Victoria Citadel has helped her get back on her feet, she said, and allowed her to provide the best care possible to her nephew.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.