Fall Report 2017

Message from the President

As we move into the colder and rainy weather, it is time again for Manna and its team of volunteers to pick up the pace. This is the time of year when the suffering of the homeless and indigent increases and our services are needed in a more significant manner.

Over the summer months our team of volunteers has increased to 15 and hopefully this number will increase yet again as the need for services grows. Lynne House has taken over sorting of items and we have three new people working with the vans. We have also seen an increase in the number of people we serve and are traveling more often to some of the outer areas now. We will hope to have more contact with the Nanoose First Nations on a regular basis.

Our fall newsletter will be circulated more widely as our mailing list has increased. We hope to begin doing a few stories on some of the less fortunate Manna is helping. This will put a face to some of the people and perhaps help to decrease the stigma attached to homelessness. We will also use the local papers to push for more donations of warmer clothing, bicycles and food supplies starting at the end of November and into December.

Again this year Manna will be purchasing gift coupons at Quality Foods and Save on Foods. There are still funds set aside for this but we have been waiting for the temperatures to drop further. Jerrold, our mobile chaplain, will also carry a supply of these coupons to use when required.

Jerrold has taken over the bicycle transportation program and is doing a great job of repairing the bicycles and providing them to people he has vetted that require them, either for work or to travel back and forth for medical or other types of appointments in the local area. Those people that are sleeping rough are being pushed further and further outside of the town borders and, without bus transportation to these areas, they have great difficulty in getting to appointments or picking up required medications or food supplies. The bicycles have proved a lifeline for them in this regard.

Again this year I have been approached by a number of groups wishing to do fundraisers for Manna. During the summer months, Del, Jerrold, Dave and I did a fundraiser with the Coast Community Credit Union in Qualicum Beach which was extremely successful. Not only did the hot dog sales raise a goodly amount of money, we had an opportunity to network with a number of people we met and hand out copies of our latest CD, A Day in the Life of a Manna Volunteer and A Glimpse into Homelessness, as well as To Die For – a 10-minute mini film which explains the drug problems in Oceanside, the latest statistics, the Fentanyl risks, and how help is still out there for those that wish to take advantage of it. The U-Tube link for this film is below. Please take a few minutes to watch it. www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GVc5vvQ4-4&feature=youtu.be

This fall the Lutheran Church will be doing a music and talent show with all proceeds going to Manna. Shaw TV wishes an interview and this has been arranged for Jerrold to do. The local PQB News has shown an interest in doing a story on the new community care mobile and Penny will speak to this. Our name is getting out there and support is coming in a much more consistent fashion. It is obvious there are a lot of people out there who care passionately about the homeless and would love to see a more permanent solution for them. But the numbers of people requiring help continue to rise so we cannot be complacent, especially at this time of year.

During the summer months, there were too many people showing up at the storage site at all hours to ask for items. In order to get this under control, the vehicles which had been parked there were moved to a more discreet location where they could not be seen from the roadway. We looked at the cost of heated storage units nearby but these were unaffordable for us. Our storage facility will therefore remain where it is and the vehicles themselves will be stored at a different location for the present.

Having all three vehicles out and about over the past few months has made us much more visible and we are now getting more calls from people requiring assistance. After a good summer, I am recharged and ready to take on the fall and winter helping those in need. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the volunteers who have given freely of their time and energy and have really stepped up to help make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. I would also like to thank the private donors and the corporations that continue their support. Blessings and thanks to all of you.

Robin Campbell

Chaplaincy Report – Jerrold Paetkau

May 2017 marked the beginning of a new branch of service for Manna Homeless Society. Utilizing a new funding stream and in response to our growing street community, Manna initiated a part-time Community Chaplain position. This new role helps identify that we offer help to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs within our street community.

Each week, I participate in community ‘walk-abouts’ – walking the streets of downtown Parksville to meet people sitting on benches, walking the street, lounging against buildings, or huddled near dumpsters. Sometimes, encouragement comes by providing a listening ear or sharing stories of faith struggles. I often ask to pray with people, and they graciously allow me to bring their requests before a loving Heavenly Father who passionately desires to demonstrate His love in the lives of His children. I have also initiated a Wednesday lunch-time bible study and regularly friends stop by and we talk about what God is showing us in His Word and pray for each other. I’m also able to hand out bibles that have been generously donated by the Gideons.

We estimate that there are 30-40 people living in marginal conditions that have embraced a faith in Jesus Christ but find it hard to attend local churches.

One man of faith, who attends a local church, is Fred [pictured below]. Fred is First Nations and has a vibrant faith in Jesus. Each day as he rides around collecting cans and bottles from ditches, he prays for the people who have thrown their trash out of their cars. Fred sees his roll of cleaning ditches as a way to express his love for God the Creator while remembering that God loves him and is providing for his needs through the junk others discard.

For an insight into the way my role as the Community Chaplain is working – you’re invited to bring a donation of socks, gloves, clothing, non-perishable food, sleeping bags, bikes to our vans on Saturday morning [9:30-11:00 Jensen; between the library and fire-hall] and see how we are becoming a community that cares for one another; friends who share by helping and encouraging to seek the resources necessary for personal care.

Bicycle Transportation Program

Used bikes are treasured resources that make a marked positive difference in the lives of people who are marginalized. Many of our friends do not have means of transportation. Each Saturday, we witness wonderful acts of kindness as friends car-pool friends to our vans for food, clothing, bedding, and encouragement. But often car-pooling is not an option for the remainder of the week if a person has a doctor’s appointment, wants to grocery shop, or has a potential for a job. Used bikes become the answer.

In August, I was able to furnish a bike for Tom [not his real name], a First Nations friend starting a new job in Nanaimo. Tom had completed several preparation courses through the Nanoose First Nations and had obtained an afternoon-evening shift at a warehouse in Nanaimo. We were able to provide a bike with lights, a reflective vest, helmet, and spare tire tubes so that Tom could successfully begin this new venture in his life. Two weeks ago, Ruth [not her real name] came to Manna and began to tell us her story. She worked as an emergency nurse in Ontario for nine years until the trauma overwhelmed her and Ruth experienced PTSD. Ruth moved to Vancouver Island to find health and escape the suicidal feelings, she soon ran out of money and resorted to camping. As the summer was waning, Ruth recognized that her health was returning. She had sought help from counsellors, mental health professionals, friends, and the SOS for housing options. So in November Ruth is moving into her own place with the help from SOS and is making steps towards re-employment. We were able to provide Ruth with a bike that will help her maintain an exercise regimen for continued health, and give her the transportation she needs to get back and forth from the job potential awaiting her in November.

Many of you will have seen Fred around town collecting bottles and cans to supplement his income. This supplement is important to Fred. He is an elderly man who has done this type of collecting for many years but it has been getting more and more difficult for him to manage this as he becomes older. Balance is a problem with carrying the bags of bottles and getting off the bicycle and then having to pull it up to climb back on is also difficult. Fred was provided with a three-wheeled bicycle which is easier to balance and has the bonus of a small bicycle trailer attached for Fred to place his bottles and cans into. This has made life a lot easier for Fred.

Wish List

It is that time of year again when people begin to need warmer clothing. We always require warm used coats and parkas, larger sizes are in great demand as the colder weather requires people to layer their clothing in order to stay comfortable through the days and nights. Socks, gloves, mittens and toques are also in great demand. We still require tents and sleeping bags, used blankets and, of course food supplies are always a necessity. Non-perishable canned and boxed goods are helpful and it goes without saying that cash donations are always helpful as it allows us to purchase the items that are most in demand or those that we have a scarcity of to add to the bagged groceries we hand out. It also allows us to purchase some of the personal items we provide to people such as soap, feminine products, tissue, toothpaste, Band-Aids, etc.

Manna Care Van

The homeless suffer a great many physical difficulties in trying to survive in the elements and often in very inclement weather. But homeless people also suffer from emotional difficulties. Accompanying the hunger and discomforts is an underlying anxiety, lack of self-esteem and lack of a vision for the future. Some people in this situation turn to alcohol or drugs to try and mask the problems but others simply spiral down into depression with a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. Our Manna Care Van accompanies the distribution van on Saturday mornings. We have some caring volunteers who take the time to listen to problems with a compassionate and nonjudgement attitude, and provide various small services that make life a bit easier for some of the people they speak with. Foot care, products for feminine hygiene, band-aids, soap, toothpaste, denture care products, and various other personal care items are provided. Warm socks and gloves are kept in the van for distribution to those who require them as well.

Island Health videos are available for people to view regarding various health issues and when the volunteers feel it is necessary, Naloxone kits can be provided to individuals who may require them. The most important offering however is the compassion and caring that is sorely required by most of the homeless and the van has become a great place for someone to stop for coffee and chat with one of the volunteers.

Year End Report 2016

Dear Friends,

It is with both a heavy but happy heart I give our year end report for Manna Homeless Society.

What a horrendous, miserable year it has been with such a wet summer and fall to the most brutal cold and snowy winter. For our street workers it has been a nightmare dealing with the most awful situations that you could imagine in our community to bring hope to the less fortunate when dealing with such extreme weather conditions.

Manna’s work load has increased but so have our volunteers. This has truly been a blessing as we could not do this work without the help of these dedicated individuals. We have a few professional people such as doctors, nurses, retired social workers and spiritual advisers assisting us at the street level now. We have caring trained people who have been assisting us in our storage buildings, picking up and purchasing items and working on the front lines.

But none of this could be done without the generous financial gifts and goods given to Manna Homeless Society this year by people like yourself. We cannot thank this community enough for stepping up and meeting the needs of the everyday residents who are down on their luck, to the elderly, and the women and youth in the Oceanside area. You are such a blessing and I would like to take this time to thank you on behalf of the people on the street and the less fortunate. We take our volunteer role seriously giving 150% to distribute the goods the community has provided to the needy. Again you know who you are and so do we. So thank you again ever so much.

I want you to know we are finding that our van isn’t big enough for our community service which we provide 7 days a week. We need to use our Manna van and a couple cars just for setting up with the very basics on Saturday.

Manna needs a large cube van for pickups plus the additional space is needed so it can be properly stocked to assist our residents. Our society is now in the process of searching for and fundraising for a newer, good running cube van that will meet our needs. The small van will continue to be used on call outs keeping the running costs down.

I am pleased to report on the number of goods we have been able to share with our community residents. In 2016 we distributed 134 tents, 199 tarps, 305 sleeping bags, 89 blankets, 5,306 survival packs, 5,260 bags of groceries, 80 bikes plus a huge number of coats, socks, gloves, hats, personals for men and women  and just about everything else you can think of to survive in this brutal environment.

What a caring community Oceanside has been over this past year and especially during the Christmas season. You have assisted in building a healthier, compassionate and safer community for all people in the Oceanside area. As individuals you have done more than what our government has turned their back on.

Until we have affordable housing in our area, as well as an all weather shelter we will continue to see this atrocity and failure grow in our community.

It is unfortunate that the community also has naysayers, people who would be unreasonably happy if the less fortunate were rounded up and shipped off. This is not going to happen. The homeless are becoming visible which makes these people uncomfortable.

Without Manna providing services to the less fortunate their plight would go unnoticed. The government has turned their backs on the homeless and now there is a natural consequence to this delinquent behaviour.

Manna Homeless Society will continue the fight and be the lifeline, the 911 of the street to the less fortunate and impoverished people of Oceanside. This will bring hope to those who need it and we’ll have a safer, healthier community for all of our residents.

Remember at one time these people weren’t always hated and shunned. They were loved and the apple of some mother’s eye.

If you are able to continue to support Manna especially funding for the cube van, we are most appreciative.

Wishing you the best in 2017,

Sincerely,

Robin Campbell
President

Winter Report 2016

It has just been announced there will be no ALL weather shelter opening this winter, only an extreme weather shelter.

We are not pleased with the announcement as the local government is leaving the community short again and is allowing the less fortunate to be exposed to awful weather winter conditions. Oceanside local officials are reticent in not fighting for what other communities on the Vancouver Island have. This gives the false feeling that our less fortunate will be all right.

This leaves only the Manna Homeless Society (MHS) to deal with the rest of the days and nights. The 911 of the streets.
MHS feels we must speak out about the atrocity of the needy, hungry and homeless enduring on these cold, rainy and bitter days and nights.
Manna finds it a difficult and frustrating situation especially as the front end workers who can only supply tents, dry clothing and food. It is plain to see more and more folks huddled in heavy jackets and blankets on our streets.

Help us help those who cannot speak for themselves and are not offered a place at the table when deciding what they need in their community.

Thanks for considering helping us as these are very unusual times we face.

Robin Campbell—President

Fall Report 2016

Well it has been a very busy summer this year with the number of clients on the rise. It seems that there is less Community services to go around to assist the less fortunate, this has put a larger load onto Manna. We are finding that we have gone from a community that had denied that we have a homeless problem a few years ago. To a community that is now trying to catch up and find assistance for the less fortunate. The less fortunate in Oceanside are now much in the public eye due to the fact our numbers have grown incredibly.

We are seeing more elderly, women, and youth than ever before. We are seeing a rise in drug and substance abuse as less services are being provided. We are seeing more individuals try to assist but we do not see organized groups that could really make a difference stepping up and assisting. We have not seen leadership from the Mayor’s office stepping up and take a leadership role in ending the plight of the Homeless. Without their help the less fortunate are doomed in the Oceanside area.

To have a healthy community we need to have Churches, service groups, and town support all working together. This is a workable situation which could be fixed working together as a team to solve this problem. I am not saying that there are not churches or any of the groups that i have mentioned helping. But they refuse to work together as a team to solve this problem. A problem that is only getting worse in the Oceanside Community.

As we are going into fall now Manna Homeless society is asking for assistance in a number of areas to build a healthier community.

We need large and extra large warm winter coats. The reason we would like large and extra large is due to the fact our clients layer their clothing. We are looking for good rain gear and rubber boots. We need a good supply of gloves and warm socks. We need men and women’s under clothing. We need umbrellas, hand warmers, foot warmers, and scarfs. We need good quality small 2 man tents. Then we need everything else to survive in these very cold nights and damp climate until summer comes around again.

I believe this winter will be the greatest challenge Manna Homeless society has ever taken on. Please help us as we try to build a healthy, compassionate, safe community.

Thanks to everyone who assists us without you we could do nothing.

Manna Homeless Society services all of the Oceanside area. We are the lifeline to the less fortunate, the needy and the people of the street. We are the 911 of the street there is nowhere for these folks to turn if we are not there to assist them.

Please Help !!

Robin Campbell

Spring Report 2016

Dear Friends,
 
We made it through another harsh winter dealing with a large number of less fortunate people needing our assistance.  Again, we would like to thank you for your support and to let you know how much we appreciate you.  We couldn’t do this important work without your backing.
 
The homeless and the impoverished of Oceanside have seen little improvement
in their situations, on the contrary, we can honestly say their standard of living has been hit even harder.  We are seeing more people becoming homeless due to a sagging economy.
 
Many of the charitable groups working with the less fortunate are forced to give less because of increased demand and limited resources.   It has caused a rippling effect putting more pressure on Manna Homeless Society to provide shelter, tents, tarps, sleeping bags, camping gear to survive in the elements, food bags, survival clothing like toques, gloves, coats, sweaters etc. as well as personals for men and women.  Your support helped to meet this challenge.
 
This year we celebrated the opportunity to provide a few trailers, motor homes and campers to some of our homeless individuals.  This was done mostly by matching people who want to donate the “home” directly with the client.  It is a joyous occasion when a homeless individual receives a home to call their own!
 
We continue to have calls for bikes.  Many people have heard about our bike program which has been very successful to date.   We carefully screen our clients making sure they are given the right bike for their needs. 
 
There has been an noticeable increase of drug and substance abuse as drugs become stronger, cheaper and more addictive.  Many of these people were not users until they were put into the position of being homeless.  We try to bring hope to them as well as help for their situation.  
 
Sadly, mental health issues of the homeless are largely ignored.  Oceanside has limited services left in our area due to healthcare cut backs over the years.  We see very few successes as we try to connect people with the professional help they need.  The present system has made it almost impossible for our clients to receive help in this area.  As a result they rely on people like us or on other charities to assist them.

Housing people in the Oceanside area is still our biggest problem due to limited vacancies and high rent.   Manna recently wrote a letter to the Mayor of Parksville,  Marc Lefebvre and after receiving the letter he asked to meet with us.  The meeting on the whole seemed to go well and he assured us he was willing to provide land or purchase land for the less fortunate.   Sarah Poole from the Oceanside Homeless Task Force is submitting a proposal in May requesting a building containing 15 rooms for the homeless, an all weather shelter and office space to meet with clients.  If the proposal is accepted it would take a few years for it to be up and running. 
 
I recently spoke with Dwain Round from the Lions club and they are still planning to demolish the old Kingsley buildings which presently has six housing units and to rebuild a new complex with twenty nine units.  Most units would rent for $700 to $800 hundred and approximately five would be set aside for affordable housing.  The service clubs have been on board for a number of years assisting elderly, young families and the less fortunate. We can’t say enough good about the service clubs of Oceanside. 

 Manna is now encouraging the Churches of Oceanside to unite and to take an active role in this social issue and step up as the churches in the past have when needed. The churches in this community could take a huge bite out this problem by meeting the needs of the less fortunate, as well as continuing to assist in other areas of the world.

 Over the last few years the homeless have gone from being almost invisible to quite visible.  You’ll see them in front of the banks and other businesses in the  downtown core of Parksville and Qualicum.  It is has come to the point where we as a community need to show compassion and love for the less fortunate and build a safer and healthier community for all our residents.

In the Christian Bible, Proverbs 19:17 states,  “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord and He will repay him for his deed”.

Many Blessings to all and thanks for your support.

Fall Report 2015

Thank you for your support. We are so deeply grateful for your kind words, for your gifts and financial donations.

We are just heading into the fall/winter season which is always a difficult time for those who live on the street or survive hand to mouth. We felt our numbers had peaked last year and it could not get busier, but to our surprise many new faces started showing up this year from long term residents to people passing through. We have seen an increase in families, the elderly and women running from abusive situations.

The largest increase has been families and the elderly of our community. Manna found ourselves relocating women to safe houses outside our community due to the increase in numbers in other agencies. The Oceanside RCMP have been very compassionate as we have worked with them a number of times giving out tents, etc.

Because of the drought, odd jobs such as cutting grass or landscaping were not available to some of our clients. Without these earnings they will not be able to afford to get indoors this winter.

There has also been an increase in drug related problems where we work with individuals as well as families suffering from the effects of addiction. Government cutbacks are becoming very evident when working with the vulnerable. I saw an individual with multiple physical and mental issues take up to nine months to finally be placed on a disability pension. This person suffered physically and emotionally to get through this trying time. Unfortunately, our system is a failure for the less fortunate so we need to continue to help these people to the best of our ability.

The lack of affordable housing is a huge problem. Manna feels the brunt of this so we are in need of more tents and tarps, sleeping bags, warm coats, gloves, hats and emergency food supplies for the upcoming winter season. We are also asking for funds so that we can place extreme cases into motels for a short term until we can find something more adequate.

Manna’s bike program has been very successful in our community and we are in need of good bikes to keep the program going. If anyone has a bike they are not using that is in good shape we would like it. A bike can be a life changer for the less fortunate.

Attitude is everything and we still deal with some people in the public who have a hard heart and say that we are nothing but a bandage for the less fortunate. We continue to tell our critics that in some cases a bandage is needed to stop the bleeding so healing can begin. There is no one solution for the problems of the less fortunate in Oceanside, but with the continued help of people like yourself we will continue to serve the less fortunate seven days a week with 100% volunteer help. Donations and gifts go directly to helping the homeless and less fortunate.

Please remember those in need as the weather gets wetter and temperatures dip down during the long nights. Thank you for all your support. We couldn’t do it without you.

Many Blessings,

Robin Campbell

Spring Report 2015

Homeless, less fortunate and the needy numbers are growing!

2015 started with many more people being directed to us for many reasons. Some we
could help, others we could only encourage and give direction to where help might be
available.

There has been a lot of interest in the less fortunate in the Oceanside area but very
little is being done to get the help they need due to the fact there is less housing than
last year and more people needing help.

I have been in contact with the Mental Health street worker and he advised me he is
now trying to tell people to move on to another area for there is little help here, or
housing at this time.

I am in contact with a health nurse who is now working the streets trying to get help for
the people who desperately need to see a doctor, so that one is made available. She
has made herself available at the van on Saturdays and I am often in contact with her
during the week . I don’t think they were aware of just how many people and families
were being affected with health issues in the Oceanside area. We need to thank the
doctors of Oceanside for making this health nurse available and she is truly trying to
make a difference in our area. I have personally seen where she has helped a lady as
well as a young girl which both needed to be hospitalized for surgery. And they got the
help they needed.

Manna Homeless Society is growing and changing as people are in panic mode as the
system is way too slow to help them. I personally believe they have set up a system
that makes it impossible for emergency care. We at Manna are willing to respond to
these needs but we need to find more help.

We are pleased to announce that the Women’s Catholic League has now started a
sandwich and bagged lunch, which is given out once a month at the van and it has
been such a great success.

The free bicycle program that we offer is still very popular with people from the
community continuing to make bikes available. We have always been able to get
bikes out to the people who really need them.

The fruit and vegetables from Costco have been a blessing as the Salvation Army
faithfully picks it up in Nanaimo and they fill our vehicle every Friday for the week.

Jerry Peterson has done an excellent job finding our food needs at rock bottom
prices. Royce Taylor and Andrew Cotton have been so faithful working at the van on
Saturdays and doing a really good job.

We also have two more people that have taken on positions helping at the van. Penny
Cowan who has years of experience working with the less fortunate and John Gourlay
who has a big heart and is willing to help wherever needed.

This time of year we are looking for tents, tarps, sleeping bags and whatever to survive
outside.

Cheques should be made out to Manna Homeless Society to receive a tax receipt.

We want to take this time and thank all our supporters who know who they are. You
have made a difference in the lives of individuals in the Oceanside community.

We look forward to the challenges of this year and changing lives in the Oceanside
area. We are willing to go where others won’t to reach the less fortunate and keep
our community healthy. We are still finding new areas in the community where
people have been overlooked and need your help.

We are all volunteers at Manna Homeless Society. Please keep that in mind knowing
100% of your donation goes directly to meeting the needs of the less fortunate and
homeless.

Robin Campbell

Manna Homeless Society

Manna Report 2014

To the Oceanside Community Members,

Since Manna Homeless Society’s beginning in 2011, we’ve been joined by tremendous individuals who are dedicated to bringing friendship, hope and essential provisions to the less fortunate members of our community here in Oceanside. The integrity, vision, commitment, and sacrifice I’ve personally witnessed volunteers bring to our team both inspire and encourage me in this endeavour of transforming lives. Your generous gifts of time, labour and finances are what makes this mission possible. Without your contributions, many people in need would face hunger, isolation, despair and poverty alone. A simply spoken “thank you” seems so paltry a return for everything you’ve done, but I’ve had the privilege of seeing your hearts, and I know gratitude is not what you’re after. Your passion is to bring back the hope and light into the eyes of real people who have real needs.

With your generous support, Manna Homeless Society had the opportunity to build transformative relationships and distribute necessary resources. We gave out 3600 survival packs in 2014, an increase of 66% over 2013. Our mobile mission van has enabled us to reach people wherever they are with nutritious groceries, warm clothing, and sleeping supplies like blankets, tarps and tents. As you know, by compassionately meeting an impoverished individual’s immediate needs, we build relationships and make connections that can be life changing.

In addition to our work on the street, our patience, persistence and passion have had results with other parts of our community, too! We’ve increased public awareness about the cycles of poverty that are happening in our neighbourhood and individuals and agencies have paid attention. When past mayors witnessed the deplorable conditions people in our neighbourhood live in, they were incited to take action. In fact, the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness was started four years ago after Teunis Westbroek and Ed Mayne were given a small glimpse into the living conditions of some local residents. The Sunrise Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach also recognized and supported the importance of the work we do. Through raising public attention to issues of poverty and homelessness, we’ve been able to gather and distribute much needed resources to impoverished people.

Take our free bicycle initiative, for example. It’s actually difficult for most people to realize that accessible transportation is a major obstacle for people affected by poverty; however, last year, we were able to collect over 70 bicycles from various concerned members in our community who wanted to be part of the transformative work we do. Our free bicycle initiative empowered individuals affected by extreme forms of poverty, abuse and homelessness to really connect with the resources they need, apply for work, get to work, make it to important medical appointments, and begin their journey to healing. The success of this initiative, indeed, shows that when communities come together we really can make a difference.

Many of you may also be aware that a few individuals have expressed concern about our approach to alleviating the heavy burden of poverty. Increasing housing costs, inability to access education, mental health, physical disability, social barriers, these are all challenges that need to be addressed. In fact, in addition to providing food, clothing, survival equipment and temporary shelter, it is our goal to connect people with the necessary resources which will help them to flourish. Our hope is to partner with organizations and individuals who will assist us in offering training, counselling, personal coaching, and life-skills guidance. By establishing trusting relationships and a safe place for people to talk and access food, clothing and temporary shelter, we are taking the first, and often times, most important step in preparing people’s hearts for more permanent solutions and change. Our vision has been, and always will be, to ultimately help people find sustainable solutions. And by meeting immediate needs, we are the gateway to that vision.

On behalf of the homeless and the less fortunate, a very big thank you to the Oceanside community.

Manna Report 2013

It has been quite a year for Manna Homeless Society being fortunate to meet the changing needs of the less fortunate of Oceanside.

One of the more staggering statistics this year was going from handing out 1700 survival bags in 2012 to this year an amazing amount of over 2400 individual bags were handed out to meet the needs of the less fortunate in 2013. Each one designed to help the individual or in some cases couples or families needing our assistance.

This could range from food, camping gear such as tents, tarps, sleeping bags, blankets, cook stoves, flashlights, winter and summer coats, socks, gloves, hats, to personal items for ladies, men and children. By doing this it brought quality and safety into many people’s lives and had an amazing effect on the people of Oceanside.

The Manna Van has become a Beacon of hope for many needy residents. As you can see from these numbers people of all ages and sex who depend on us on a weekly basis.

We have been able to assist all calls during the week and weekends never leaving anyone without attention who needs our service.

We have continued to build trust with many other groups and Societies as well as individuals who continue to fund us so we can meet the needs and purchases for the less fortunate.

As you can see there has been an incredible increase for our service with this 40% increase this past year.

We realize for us to continue we will need continued support from those who assist us, but we need to build a bigger base of people to team with us.

It is great that we are 100% volunteers and that we can give out a tax receipt to those who assist us but we will need other ideas this year to keep with the increase we are expecting due to these economic times.

So let’s get the word out for Manna Homeless Society this year and be open to suggestions from the general public.

Thanks to everyone who has volunteered, given of their time and have financially assisted us to change lives in Oceanside.

Robin Campbell

Manna Homeless Society