A Saanich, B.C., woman who cares for her autistic teen nephew says she was greatly helped by The Salvation Army’s Victoria Citadel church during a breaking point in her life.
Homeless and Penniless
With no children of her own, Kelley Sherin took in 16-year-old Jordan 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 Kelley. Being the only adult in 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, Kelley had issues of her own before Jordan moved in. She had trouble finding appropriate housing and experienced homelessness 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 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 says.
She was welcomed with open arms by Michelle O’Connor, community ministries director, and the on-site pastor.
“Michelle encouraged me to be open about how I was really doing—from physical and mental to emotional and spiritual,” Kelley says.
She was then assisted with food and one-on-one practical support through joining the Next Steps Program offered by the organization.
Kelley 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!” Kelley says.
With the support from Victoria Citadel, she feels immense relief knowing she has others to lean on when times are difficult. After going from an independent career woman with no one else to support but herself to a single parent in survival mode within a short time period, Kelley was humbled by how quickly life’s circumstances can change.
Community support from Victoria Citadel has helped her get back on her feet, she says, and allowed her to provide the best care possible to her nephew.
Reprinted from Saanich News/Black Press Media, November 14, 2021.
Photo: Courtesy of Kelley Sherin
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