When Oceans Rise - Salvation Army Canada

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    When Oceans Rise

    Ocean Crest Community Church in Campbell River, B.C., is a lighthouse for the community. October 29, 2015 by Giselle Randall and Betty Tiede
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    Campbell River, B.C., stretches along the east coast of Vancouver Island, with the ocean on one side, forest on the other and mountain views in every direction. It's a landscape that draws people who love the outdoors and is known as a retirement destination. But the city has suffered economically since the closure of the mill several years ago and many people struggle to find work. Affordable housing is also in short supply.

    The Salvation Army's Ocean Crest Ministries reaches out to the community in several ways. At the Lighthouse Centre, more than 20,000 meals are served each year. A drop-in program offers laundry and shower facilities along with a clothing bank. Emergency shelter is available during the coldest months of the year.

    The Dinner Bell program, a partnership between Ocean Crest Community Church and Island Health, provides vocational training in the food services industry, producing nutritious, affordable meals for people with mental illness or addictions.

    “I love what I do,” says Connie Preston, a professional cook who leads the program. “The students are enthusiastic, and it's immensely satisfying to see their skills—and their self-esteem—improve. I see them gain the confidence and inspiration to make other positive changes in their lives.”

    Campbell River is located near two First Nations communities. “God has blessed us with growth among First Nations people over the past year, with the number from that community increasing from an average of one or two, to 10-12, on Sunday morning,” says Captain Gordon Taylor, corps officer. “We also help support Esperanza, a ministry to the First Nations community on the west side of Vancouver Island, sending a youth team to do a work weekend each year to help prepare the camp for the summer.”

    Hazen Taylor in the dish pit at the Lighthouse Centre. “Volunteering is a great way to meet the community,” he says. “It's a pleasure to serve those in need.” Captain Gordon Taylor helps out in the dining room. Hazen Taylor in the dish pit at the Lighthouse Centre. “Volunteering is a great way to meet the community,” he says. “It's a pleasure to serve those
    in need.” Captain Gordon Taylor helps out in the dining room.


     

    “The Salvation Army has been a lifesaver over the years,” says Melody. “They have helped me with everything. I have begun training as a facilitator for a program called 'Smart Recovery.' I could never have done it without the Army's help.” “The Salvation Army has been a lifesaver over the years,” says Melody. “They have helped me with everything. I have begun training as a facilitator for a program called 'Smart Recovery.' I could never have done it without the Army's help.”


     

    Ingrid has come to the Lighthouse Centre for lunch every day for many years. “It stretches my pennies so I can live within my budget,” she says. Ingrid has come to the Lighthouse Centre for lunch every day for many years. “It stretches my pennies so I can live within my budget,” she says.


     

    “The Salvation Army has provided everything from a place to stay to help with legal issues,” says Peter. “It has made a big difference in my life.” “The Salvation Army has provided everything from a place to stay to help with legal issues,” says Peter. “It has made a big difference in my life.”


     

    “I love my job because of the co-workers and clients I work with,” says Carol James, family services worker at the Lighthouse Centre. “It brings me joy to help people in need, to do God's work.” Last year, more than 400 households received assistance through referrals, emergency food hampers and vouchers for clothing, linens and household supplies. “I love my job because of the co-workers and clients I work with,” says Carol James, family services worker at the Lighthouse Centre. “It brings me joy to help people in need, to do God's work.” Last year, more than 400 households received assistance through referrals, emergency food hampers and vouchers for clothing, linens and household supplies.


     

    David Kiff, custodian at the Lighthouse Centre, sorts clothing for the drop-in program, which offers laundry and shower facilities. “This is the most fun and fulfilling job I have ever had,” he says. David Kiff, custodian at the Lighthouse Centre, sorts clothing for the drop-in program, which offers laundry and shower facilities. “This is the most fun and fulfilling job I have ever had,” he says.


     

    Crystal shops at the Salvation Army thrift store. “It's great for the community,” she says. “It helps the environment by recycling, and I appreciate the reasonable prices. I like that the Army is a Christian organization that provides tangible, hands-on support.” Crystal shops at the Salvation Army thrift store. “It's great for the community,” she says. “It helps the environment by recycling, and I appreciate the reasonable prices. I like that the Army is a Christian organization that provides tangible, hands-on support.”


     

    Angela Benoit, thrift store manager, helps stock items on the shop floor. Angela Benoit, thrift store manager, helps stock items on the shop floor.


     

    Catherine Crowe is a long-time volunteer at the Salvation Army thrift store. “The staff are so friendly and kind and they are very helpful with training and teaching,” she says. “Volunteering is giving me experience for the future.” Catherine Crowe is a long-time volunteer at the Salvation Army thrift store. “The staff are so friendly and kind and they are very helpful with training and teaching,” she says. “Volunteering is giving me experience for the future.”


     

    Ocean Crest Community Church gathers for worship. Ocean Crest Community Church gathers for worship.

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