One Woman’s Brave Journey

by British Columbia
Categories: Blog

One Woman’s Brave Journey

When Marnie was only 11 years old her family home burned down in a terrible fire. Her father suffered from burns and their family lost everything … throughout her life she suffered more setbacks.

Before finding the Pidcock Shelter, Marnie had issues finding a safe place to live that was affordable and would accept her pets. She’s had the price of rent raised, been physically assaulted, and lived in such poor conditions that exposure of mould and heavy metals led to poisoning and the loss of one of her dogs. Marnie suffers from fibromyalgia yet continues to provide care for her 90-year-old mother, and her 15-year-old dog Sofey who has diabetes.

She has been dealing with these issues for the last 11 years. “It rips your self-esteem … no one believed me when I got sick,” she shares recalling the struggles of getting diagnosed. Eventually the hospital directed her to the Salvation Army shelter where she discovered the Pathway of Hope program.

Pathway of Hope focuses on identifying and addressing root cause issues for people living in poverty. It provides targeted services to people who want to take action to break that cycle.

“I feel very blessed to have walked through the doors and get the help that I’ve gotten.”

The Salvation Army in the Comox Valley is one of the first locations in B.C. to try this program, and they have seen great success with Marnie. “We come alongside them, with their vision and their ideas. It comes from within, and we support that,” says Captain Michelle Elsasser.

Since joining the program, Marnie has access to the on-site registered clinical counsellor Kirstin Dolby. “This program is a stepping stone,” Dolby describes. “It’s here that guests are provided the opportunity to learn skills and gain work experience.”

If not for The Salvation Army, Marnie says that she would “probably be living in some other hellhole.” She shares her appreciation for supporters of The Salvation Army, letting people know that “it works… you really have the opportunity to invest into people’s futures.”

Marnie will continue her journey with the Pathway of Hope this year with the goal of finding a new place to call home. And it’s all because of your generosity.


Because of the generosity and support of donors like you, we are able to help people like Marnie across B.C. and continue Giving Hope Today … and every day. And we thank you.

To learn more about how you can support The Salvation Army click here.