Our Calls for Assistance ministry provides support, resources, and a listening ear to those who are in crisis who might not otherwise receive help.
Navigating through the multitude of resources in the Edmonton area, this ministry helps people handle challenges such as: homelessness, family violence, housing, mental health, education, employment, food bank referrals, funding, and acquiring basic needs.
In early October, we were contacted by Ben, who had recently broken his elbow. A self-employed sub-contractor with a leg amputated below the knee, he may not be able to work until January. Ben also has a spouse who is seeking employment and a one-year-old child to support.
Under these circumstances, Ben found himself in a difficult situation. His family had drained their finances to pay for food and utilities, and with no funds left to pay for their October rent, they were evicted from their home.
We directed Ben to Alberta Works, where he was approved for a monthly financial stipend to support his family with costs of living. We also provided Ben with $250 in gift cards for groceries, and a booklet of bus tickets to assist with transportation. They have also completed an Edmonton Food Bank referral.
In another situation, 75-year-old Stacey came to our office to find housing after living with an abusive friend. She moved in with this friend after being evicted from her home while staying at a hospital. The friend, however, pressured Stacey for money and hid all of the food in the home – leaving Stacey, who often hid in her room, to go hungry for three days.
After several hours of research by our Calls for Assistance staff, Stacey was connected with the Seniors Association of Edmonton to locate housing. She was also given resources to stay in a hotel until a more permanent place was found. In addition, Stacey was also put in touch with the food bank and St. Vincent de Paul for more assistance.
Without our Sign of Hope supporters, we would not be able to provide assistance and a reason for optimism to people like Ben and Stacey.
* The names of the people featured in this story have been changed to protect their identity.