The Salvation Army Taught me to Love Myself

Jimmy stands in front of food at Salvation Army food bank

Childhood trauma, PTSD, or emotional and physical abuse are not always visible on the surface, but are often expressed through an individual’s behavior and, in some cases, are managed through coping mechanisms like drugs or alcohol. At The Salvation Army, those who struggle find a safe space to deal with their trauma, manage their addictions and find hope for the future. This was the case for Jimmy.

“I have a team around me here that really care about me.”

“The Salvation Army taught me how to love myself,” shares Jimmy, a previous client at The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope in Halifax.

Just five years ago, Jimmy came to the centre seeking a place to sleep and a warm meal. Over time he joined programs that focused on recovery and rehabilitation to deal with childhood trauma.

“I had never really loved myself before or thought that I could move forward in life from my addictions and the situation I was in,” shares Jimmy. “The Salvation Army kept challenging me and telling me that I could do it. And when I kept screwing up, they were never angry, they never judged me. They would say ‘It’s okay, keep moving forward, everything is going to be alright.’ Having that support, which I never had before, and learning to communicate how I was feeling was life changing.”

“I know The Salvation Army has my back.”

Completing programs and finding his first apartment on his own was not the end of Jimmy’s journey with The Salvation Army. He now volunteers and works part time at The Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope in Halifax where he brings a beloved sense of energy to the staff while acting as a wonderful mentor for clients entering or working their way through programs.

“I have a team around me here that really care about me,” he says. “I don’t worry about things as much as I use to because I know The Salvation Army has my back.”

Jimmy is a remarkable reminder that everyone, regardless of their circumstance, is worthy of hope and dignity, and he stands as a shining example of the good The Salvation Army does on a very real, human level.

By Chris Mitchell