A homeless man in Thunder Bay who recently received his residential school settlement has decided to donate his money to Shelter House Thunder Bay’s Street Outreach Service (SOS) Program. These compensation packages recognize the damage inflicted by residential schools and compensate the many Indigenous people who were torn from their families as children to attend these institutions.
Shelter House staff were floored when this man, who would like to remain anonymous, brought a $10,000 cheque to development officer, Alexandra Calderon. “We tried to return the cheque – I know that he needs it. But he insisted that he wanted to make sure his friends were safe. He said he was at Shelter House and heard Matawa First Nations CEO David Paul Achneepineskum’s challenge to help fund the SOS program. Our donor wanted to help his people and believes strongly in the power of the street outreach program. He realized he was in a position to help his friends and was proud that he could help to ensure that his people are safe and healthy,” says Calderon. “Everyone, from our donor to all of the staff had tears in their eyes. It was incredibly moving and I hope it inspires more individuals and businesses in Thunder Bay help SOS get back out on the roads as soon as possible.”
With generous donors like this, Shelter House is nearing the halfway point to restart the SOS program with a required goal of $200,000. The program regarded by many in the city as vital and lifesaving continues to be suspended until funding targets are met.
Shelter House has enough funding to run the program through the colder winter months which is why it is slated to start back up in late fall. At this time, the $200,000 campaign to restart SOS immediately is at $75,000. The Mayor’s Mulligan will run Friday, August 25th in support of the SOS program and hopes to raise an additional $25,000.
Click here to donate to the SOS Program.