Like thousands of families each year that are victims of violence, Jane* was forced to flee to Canada, along with her children, with virtually nothing. Once she arrived, she turned to The Salvation Army for support with everyday needs. 

Jane and her two children arrived in Canada in May 2022. They escaped their native Cameroon after Jane lost her husband because of government persecution. She settled in Calgary without knowing much about the city or the country. Her priority was to keep her children safe and build a better future.

Soon after arriving, a member of the Cameroonian community in Calgary provided her with a few numbers she could call for assistance. One of these contacts was The Salvation Army. 

From Struggle to Shelter

“The Salvation Army have been of great help to me and my family,” Jane says. “They were the first place that we went to. We came with nothing, and they gave us clothes and food. I am very thankful. It is something I will never forget.” With the help of her Salvation Army caseworker, Ismail Hossain, she received clothing vouchers, food, bus tickets and even assistance in finding places to stay. For many months, it was a struggle for Jane to find proper accommodation for her and the children. After bouncing from place to place, she contacted Ismail to see if he could help her find a new home. 

“Jane called me in distress, telling me she needed to find a new place to stay, so I called shelters all over Calgary until I was finally able to find one,” Ismail says. “She now lives at a house that hosts families.”

“The Marvelous Team”

Nearly nine months since their arrival, Jane and her family are seeing more stability in their lives. Her two boys, ages 14 and 10, started school in early December. As for Jane, she is preparing for a meeting, set to take place soon, which will determine her official immigration status. That will allow her to legally work in Canada, and it would make her eligible for government support. 

Looking back at her first few days in Canada, Jane says she doesn’t know where she would be without The Salvation Army. She says the organization’s members work very hard to ensure everyone in need is taken care of.

“The Salvation Army touches people’s souls,” she says. “The first day I went there, I was crying, but by the third day I was all smiles. I am thankful for the marvelous team they have.” 

*Not her real name

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