Shelter House, a homeless shelter in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, recently had to cut back on a street outreach program due to a lack of funds. According to an official at the shelter, they needed to raise roughly $150,000 in order to keep the program running for another 12 months.
When they announced they were in need of money one man in particular heard the call for help — he was actually present when the shelter received a $7,400 donation to the program — and decided to donate money to the place that had helped him out for five years.
The man who was once homeless donated $7,400 to Shelter House and insisted it be used to help his friends, saying that many who benefit from the outreach program, “stay safe.”
Alexandra Calderon, development officer at Shelter House, said that at first she couldn’t believe it when the man, who wanted to remain anonymous, came in the with the check. “I actually thought I had misread the cheque,” Calderon told CTVNews.ca. Although the man is no longer homeless, she knew he didn’t have a lot of money and insisted that he use it for himself, but he wanted to make the donation.
This particular outreach program sends volunteers out onto the streets to offer support for those who may not be able to make it to the shelter.
The man used money he received from a settlement for residential school survivors. Across Canada thousands of aboriginal children were taken from their homes and placed into residential schools where they weren’t allowed to practice their culture and were often abused. In the mid-2000s the Canadian government and those who were placed in the schools came to an agreement. Under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement those who survived would receive a settlement of at least $7,400. It was unclear whether or not he donated the entire amount he received.
After the man donated to the Street Outreach Services program or SOS, which provides services for at-risk people living on the streets, the shelter started to see an increase in donations. According to Calderon they have already reached the halfway mark to meeting their goal.
If you would like to donate to the Shelter House’s SOS program you can do so on their website.