Overcoming Poverty and PTSD

John (right) receives hug from Salvation Army worker, Val (left)
by SalvationArmy.ca
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John’s unstable and traumatic childhood left him struggling with PTSD. As a result, he has suffered in the key areas of his life that include socialization and employment. Through a variety of supports, The Salvation Army in Regina is helping him overcome some of the challenges related to PTSD and has restored his faith in humanity.

“The Salvation Army gives me hope, shows me love and that people care.”

“The Salvation Army gives me hope, shows me love and that people care,” says John. “Their help means the world to me.”

John was raised in an unhealthy, chaotic and abusive home environment. He was fed beer as a toddler, was whipped with electrical cords and beat with broomsticks. He was an alcoholic by Grade 3 and from ages nine to 14 lived in foster care.

“I saw a lot of madness, insanity and experienced a lot of abuse.”

“I saw a lot of madness, insanity and experienced a lot of abuse,” says John. “Alcohol in the house was natural. Everyone drank. I’d often come home to step over my father who was passed out drunk. I had no love, guidance or direction in life.”

John was the victim of circumstances beyond his control. When he witnessed the death of his brother to suicide he battled with memories not easily forgotten. He was eventually diagnosed with PTSD but couldn’t escape the nightmares, flashbacks and emotional distress he’d experienced from childhood.

“My sense of safety and trust was shattered,” says John. “That left me depressed, lonely and isolated. I haven’t been able to work and struggle to make ends meet.”

John was a single parent when he first came to The Salvation Army’s food bank.

“I had no other place to go.”

“I had no other place to go,” says John. “What I found at The Salvation Army was compassion and people who cared about my well-being.”

John attends The Salvation Army’s weekly lunch program and enjoys the social interaction, which reduces his anxiety and fear.

“The Salvation Army doesn’t focus on what colour I am or where I came from,” says John. “I have no other supports and when I leave the building I always have a song in my heart and a smile on my face.”