For Breeze Mitchell, home is The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope in Port Hardy, B.C.

She was introduced to the Army in 2019. Breeze and her fiancé, Marlin, were struggling with addiction at the time, and, as a result, they ended up homeless. Every day, Marlin would walk kilometres to receive assistance at the Centre of Hope.

“I was introduced to The Salvation Army on a different level; we would come for food or clothes vouchers, food hampers, stuff like that to help us when we were extensively into our addictions,” Breeze says.

Devastating Loss

Aside from the basic assistance, Breeze also got a chance to get acquainted with the Centre of Hope’s executive director, Michael Winter. She credits him with always being there to talk to and for teaching them about God.As time went on, things improved. Breeze left her addiction behind and got a job to try to get back on her feet. She and Marlin were planning to get married and get joint bank accounts. 

Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a new beginning ended in loss. In March 2022, Marlin passed away due to complications from COVID-19.

“It devastated me, it took me out of my element; I was suicidal,” Breeze shares.

Remaining Clean

After Marlin’s passing, things were difficult for Breeze. She once again struggled with addiction, but now she also had the added weight of grief. For the next few months, Breeze regularly visited The Salvation Army where Michael prayed with her, something she says helped her control her sorrow. She is grateful for the emotional support she received from the Army.

“I kept coming back to The Salvation Army, and I sought out the people that I knew I was safe with, the people that would pray for me and with me,” Breeze says. “Michael was instrumental in so many ways. He was like an older brother.”

Thanks to her caseworker, Breeze was able to get housed at the Centre of Hope, and she also received assistance to overcome her addiction, and is currently sober. She credits her faith in God with helping her remain clean.

Spreading the Word

Breeze recently had ankle surgery, and although she was anxious, she was confident that the staff at the Centre of Hope was there to assist in her recovery.

“This is a home away from home for me, and it is for a lot of other people, as well,” Breeze says.

Breeze is planning her future, and when she feels ready to leave the Centre of Hope, she wants to go to other Salvation Army locations across the province. “I want to preach and spread the Word of God and I want to be able to volunteer.”

Photo: Michael Winter

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