Canada: 'Restoring humanity': Riding along with Hope Mission’s 24-7 rescue van - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada 'Restoring humanity': Riding along with Hope Mission’s 24-7 rescue van

13:00  13 november  2019
13:00  13 november  2019 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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Hope Mission continues to reach out to the inner city community through special seasonal meals and events and personal contact. We operate a 24 / 7 Rescue Van which provides emergency care for people in need as well as an inner city community church. Counselors, chaplains and volunteers visit

a person posing for the camera: Hope Mission crisis diversion team member Olha Sakuma. Photo by Jeff Labine.© Supplied Hope Mission crisis diversion team member Olha Sakuma. Photo by Jeff Labine.

Kevin Lagace looks exhausted.

The Newfoundland native has been up for many hours, having recently been forced out onto the street after a dispute with a friend he was renting a house with.

This isn’t the first time he’s been in this situation. In his home province, he spent a few months at a homeless shelter, which he described as a difficult experience.

After failing to find work in St. John’s, Lagace moved to Edmonton three months ago to try to change his life. A painter by trade, he hoped to start up a company and make it big in Canada’s oil country. He said his brother is well established and that is something he wants to achieve himself.

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Unfortunately, a job he did recently led to an infection in his hands, which he says causes him immense pain whenever he touches anything.

And as the weather takes a turn for the worst, Lagace doesn’t have much: a ball cap, overcoat, and backpack filled with spare clothes and an extra hat. He has a box of macaroni and cheese on the side and a pack of smokes in his pocket.

In part, that’s why he decides to take a chance on calling the Hope Mission’s 24-7 rescue van.

When the van arrives, Lagace is greeted by Hope Mission Staff Ka Yin Tsang and Olha Sakuma. The three chat outside a 7-11. Lagace appears unsure to go along because of his experiences at other homeless shelters, but he’s reassured by the two workers and taken to the shelter to get some sleep.

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Furthermore, Hope Mission ’ s Hope Bargain Shoppe provides clients with clothing, blankets and workwear while generating revenue which directly supports our programs and services. In all, our desire is to provide compassionate care and offer hope to hurting, hungry and homeless people in Edmonton.

Corona Norco Rescue Mission . 420 W. Harrison St. Corona, CA 92880. (951) 493 2091 [email protected]. Locations. Orange County Rescue Mission . 1 Hope Drive Tustin, CA 92782.

Tsang and Sakuma have both been working with Hope Mission for about six months. Tsang, who is from Edmonton, plans to pursue a career as a paramedic. The Hope Mission van is a repurposed ambulance, which he said gives him some experience behind the wheel.

“I think this is a good stepping stone to get into this industry,” he said. “We work well with EMS and EPS as well. First responders are the first on the scene regardless in what capacity. You are the first to the scene and you can help. That can drastically change the patient outcome. That’s why I want to pursue this career.”

Sakuma, originally from Ukraine, chooses to sit in the back with clients where she can get to know them.

She called it a privilege to be able to hear their stories.

“We’re just supporting them with their dignity, treating them with respect,” Sakuma said. “It’s restoring their humanity.”

 Hope Mission crisis diversion team members Ka Yin Tsang and Olha Sakuma. Photo by Jeff Labine.© Supplied Hope Mission crisis diversion team members Ka Yin Tsang and Olha Sakuma. Photo by Jeff Labine.

Hope Mission is a not-for-profit Christian outreach organization that helps men, women and children in need in Alberta. The van’s job is to go out into the community and bring those in need a bagged lunch (usually a sandwich and an energy bar), a bottle of water or offer them a lift to a shelter.

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The Rescue Mission ’ s threefold approach is to provide a safe, nurturing, and stimulating Transportation Services: Residents are assisted with transportation vouchers or van service as Since opening, the Village of Hope has established several strong partnerships with foundations, academic

Hope Mission . 1 December 2017 ·. The weather is mild right now, but cold temperatures are coming. We want to make sure that everyone can stay bundled up and safe this winter. Help us stock the 24 / 7 Rescue Van with warm clothing and other items like: Backpacks Gloves, winter socks

Tsang and Sakuma cover the entire city, even going deep into Edmonton’s south side to offer help.

Three crews are assigned to a van. One works the morning, another works the evening and the third covers the overlap to make sure there’s no part of the day the service isn’t on the road.

Sakuma said she was in the vicinity of Century Park recently, thinking no one would need help in the area, when she spotted an intoxicated man collapsing onto the street. The crew was able to get the man to his house safely.

She said that made the trip worthwhile, even if they managed to help just one person.

“It was perfect timing,” she said. “It was cold outside during the night. It’s a miracle in a way. We’re instruments in God’s love.”

As for Lagace, he said he’s not worried about being on the street, even with the arrival of winter.

“I’m not scared,” he said. “I’m not scared to meet my maker. I’m not scared of dying. I know I can paint really fast and really professional.”

But he also has good reason to live and thrive.

“I left a 10-year-old son behind and made a vow to him that we would start a life,” Lagace said. “I would have a house by then, I would have everything. I made a vow to my son that we would both come out here. We would miss each other, we will cry but in 16 months, ‘Bam.’ ”

jlabine@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/jefflabine

Marijn de Vries et al. standing in front of a bus:  Hope Mission crisis diversion team members Ka Yin Tsang and Olha Sakuma. (Photo by Jeff Labine).© Supplied Hope Mission crisis diversion team members Ka Yin Tsang and Olha Sakuma. (Photo by Jeff Labine).

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