Your compassion has changed thousands of lives this year

Each year at Union Gospel Mission is filled with abundant opportunities to touch the lives of men, women, and children in meaningful ways, and this last year was no different. Your compassion was hard at work all year long, changing the lives of thousands of individuals.

I invite you to take a moment to read this Annual Report and witness the incredible difference that you’ve made possible through your kindness. Thank you for partnering with us to ensure that no person in our community struggles in solitude.

William B. Mollard
Signature-Teresa Teresa Black Hughes
Board Chairperson

You touched Kerry & Faith’s life when they needed it most

When Kerry and her eight-year-old daughter Faith first moved to Vancouver, their first home was in a shelter in the Downtown Eastside. “It was tough living in the shelter,” she recalls. “I was a single mom, and I’d never been in a shelter before with my daughter. It was scary.”

Even after finding an affordable apartment across the street from Union Gospel Mission, surviving on minimal social support was difficult. That’s when Kerry first came to UGM for a meal. “At the time I didn’t have money for food,” she says. “We went there for dinner for maybe a month, every night.”

After a staff member introduced Kerry to UGM’s Women & Families Resource Centre, she quickly registered Faith for the Eastsiders’ Afterschool Care Program. “It’s been awesome to see Faith be a part of Eastsiders,” Kerry says. “She’s an only child, so it’s good for her to socialize with other kids. I think Eastsiders gives her the courage to do that.”

The staff here are amazing and have helped us out a lot. As a single mom, they do a lot for me. They’ve changed me and my daughter’s life.

The Eastsiders staff support not only the children attending the program, but also their whole families through the challenges of poverty or single parenthood. Kerry receives food hampers to keep her shelves stocked when money’s tight, invitations to special meals at UGM with other Eastsiders families, and the opportunity to go on seasonal outings around Metro Vancouver.

Even as she faces many barriers, Kerry’s positive spirit radiates. “Going through challenges like we have builds strength,” she says. “It makes you appreciate life more.”

“Eastsiders has impacted us in an amazing way,” Kerry says. “The staff here are amazing and have helped us out a lot. As a single mom, they do a lot for me. They’ve changed me and my daughter’s life.”

Outreach & Meals
Because of you, UGM served 338,480 hot, nutritious meals
You helped facilitate 2,498 visits to UGM’s clothing room
You helped distribute 1,987 street toiletry kits
Women & Families
Last year, you helped UGM distribute 703 family food hampers to families in crisis
You helped distribute 646 bundles of emergency baby supplies
You sponsored 538 campers for a week of summer camp
If it weren't for camp, I probably wouldn't be the person I am today. It really changed my heart.
Brooke, UGM CAMP
Sponsorship Recipient
Employment Services
Last year, you helped 35 people find employment with the help of UGM’s Employment Services
Your compassion encouraged 6 people to enroll in post-secondary programs to pursue educational goals
As time went on, I was believing in myself more and more. Career Development showed me that I had skills I thought I’d lost. It gives you time to regain your confidence.
rj, a&d recovery program alumnus

Because of you, Jeff found safe shelter, and a renewed life

Jeff had struggled with an addiction to crack cocaine for 20 years. Once a well-paid bricklayer with money to spare, Jeff found himself with no money, no job, no connection to his family, and no home. One lonely and cold Christmas, Jeff hit his bottom.

“I was sleeping on the streets,” he recalls. “I didn’t have blankets at times, and I remember waking up on Christmas day inside a doorway. I had a pair of ragged shoes on, sweatpants and a t-shirt, and I didn’t even have a blanket. I was so cold and I offered up a prayer saying, ‘I don’t want to live like this.’ I was beat to the ground. Drugs beat me.”

That day, a friend told Jeff to go to UGM for a meal and a night’s sleep out of the cold. That’s when he learned about UGM’s Alcohol & Drug Recovery Program. Tired of living life in addiction, Jeff entered the program. “All due to my drugs, I had lost everything,” he says.

This place saved my life. UGM gave me an opportunity to look at my life differently. It gave me a better life and made me a better person.”

Recovering from an addiction as serious as Jeff’s is not easy, but after overcoming a few relapses, Jeff completed the six-month residential A&D Program. This year, he will celebrate his 8th anniversary of sobriety.

Thanks to that first meal, Jeff’s life has been transformed. Today, he is a committed father, and a dedicated member of UGM’s alumni. “Honestly man, I’ve come a long ways,” Jeff says. “I’m pretty proud of myself. How I was living was a horrible way to live. I just don’t think any human being deserves that. I don’t think people should have to live like that.”

“This place saved my life,” he says. “UGM gave me an opportunity to look at my life differently. It gave me a better life and made me a better person.”

Mobile Mission
Because of you, the Mobile Mission made 2,295 connections last year by providing essential care items
You helped at least 61 Mobile Mission guests enter A&D Recovery, Emergency Shelter, or Affordable Housing
Emergency Shelter & Case Management
Because of you, 27,964 nights of safe shelter were provided to men looking for safety from the street
265 people found housing, employment, or recovery through Case Management
The love I’ve found at UGM will be with me the rest of my life.
Andre, UGM guest
Affordable Housing
affordable housing units in total
safe, clean, abstinence-based suites offered by UGM at Maurice McElrea Place and 601 East Hastings Street
low-rent housing units designed for family-living at The Orchard
UGM doesn’t just feed you—it’s a family connection. It’s a family of love.
elizabeth, ugm affordable housing resident

Your care allowed Jaimie to remain with her daughter

Foster care never gave Jaimie the security she desperately needed. Growing up, life was chaotic—moving from home to home was normal, drug use was frequent and incidents with the police were common. Custody of her first child, which she had at the age of 17, was signed over quickly to her foster family. “I tried to grow up too fast,” she says. “And not the proper way of growing up.”

When Jaimie aged out of care her struggle with drugs and alcohol spiralled into an addiction to crystal meth, and she began living in shelters in the Downtown Eastside. Vancouver’s damp weather made survival on the streets particularly unbearable. “I always had wet clothes,” she remembers. “My feet were wet, my shoes were wet. Everything was wet.”

Before giving birth to her daughter last year, Jaimie unsuccessfully attempted to stay sober. But when faced with the reality of losing her child, Jaimie realized she wanted something different for her baby. That’s what The Sanctuary offered: a chance to keep her daughter, and a new life.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to have a normal life before I came to UGM. The Sanctuary showed me that there were people who actually did care, and wanted to see me succeed.”

“Living at The Sanctuary was the first time I took recovery seriously,” she says. With the help of 24/7 care from supportive Sanctuary staff, Jaimie’s confidence grew as she began to learn life, social and parenting skills.

“I didn’t think I’d be able to have a normal life before I came to UGM,” she explains. “The Sanctuary showed me that there were people who actually did care, and wanted to see me succeed.”

Today, Jaimie lives nearby with her adventurous one-year-old, Xiomara, has been reunited with her four-year-old, and is dedicated to creating a bright future for her family. Most importantly, Jaimie was able to give her daughter what her parents weren’t able to give her. “I feel like I’m breaking the cycle of my parents and their parents,” she explains. “I’m hopefully breaking it for my kids. It’s really huge.”

The Sanctuary
You helped 38 women successfully transition from The Sanctuary to their chosen recovery or housing goal
Five of seven moms who stayed in The Sanctuary’s Moms & Babies wing were successful in retaining their custody
Your support allowed 189 men to stay in Gateway while preparing to enter a recovery program that suited their needs
If it weren’t for this place, I would be dead. I don’t know what it was that guided me to come to UGM. It must have been some sort of divine intervention.
jonas, a&d recovery program alumnus
Men’s Alcohol & Drug Recovery
In 2015-2016, 42 men completed recovery at UGM
Because of you, 60% of recent A&D graduates have achieved one year of sobriety
Women’s Alcohol & Drug Recovery
In 2015-2016, 13 women’s lives were transformed by completing A&D Recovery at Lydia Home
Your support provided 189 counselling appointments through Lydia Home Outreach
I have been given freedom to be who I am, who God made me to be. I have overcome all the trials, all the hardships, and all the brokenness. I’ve been transformed. Lydia Home has given me so much hope.
linda, women’s a&d recovery program alumna
I love being able to utilize the gift of social media that God has blessed me with to mobilize people together to do good in our communities. Seeing what can happen at UGM with donations is really inspiring.
philanthropy champion

Together, we transform communities

Through the big-hearted support of our family of donors, each day a new life is changed at UGM. Thank you! We’re so thankful you share our belief that every person deserves dignity, compassion, and a hand up to hope.

I like UGM’s ministry because people’s lives are changed through it. Not just physically, getting on their feet financially and such, but spiritually. And that’s a permanent change, that’s not a temporary change.
drew & debbie, ugm donors for 20 years
When I was in my late twenties, I had to use food banks, and ended up on social assistance a few times. I guess I just want to give back and support people who don’t have a lot of resources, because I’ve been there. Helping people re-build and get back on their feet is important to me.
brent, hearts for the city monthly donor
Through our partnership with UGM, we have opened the eyes of many of our employees, vendors, and customers to the growing need for compassion, humanity, and dignity—not only for our immediate community, but also for the world.
rogers sugar, 2016 ugm summer bbq sponsor

Donations & Income

Graph of incomes
Annual Campaign
Legacy Campaign
Other Income
Social Housing
Thrift Store & Other Income

Expenses & Designated Funds

Graph of expenses
Programs, Services & Social Housing
Outreach & Recovery
Education & Engagement

Thank You

Every year, you help people overcome poverty, homelessness, and addiction. Thank you for making a life-changing difference with Union Gospel Mission.