Like many staff members, Corrin came to UGM from far away—in her case, Australia. A worship pastor, singer, and songwriter, Corrin toured Australia and New Zealand with a rock band before moving to Canada in 1997 to work as a nanny. She met her husband, and they continue to live in North Vancouver with their youngest children, 16-year-old twins. It wasn’t until the pandemic that her life began to intersect with the Downtown Eastside. “I had been working for a car company for about eight years, in sales and service,” she recounts. “And then COVID hit. I was let go from that job, and was just seeing what God would do next.”
Then, at a women’s Bible study, a friend mentioned the staffing need at UGM. Corrin applied, and now works as Shift Supervisor for The Sanctuary, where she supports women in recovery in building new life trajectories. Her favourite part of her job is seeing women recover an understanding of their inherent potential. “Many of the women we meet have traumatic lived experience and have the belief that they’ve failed. We at The Sanctuary want to love them unconditionally and—with grace, mercy, and compassion—bring them to an understanding of their immeasurable worth and beauty. To see themselves as Christ sees them. They don’t realize the impact they have on me and the other staff, their resiliency and strength is just amazing.”
While Corrin’s day-to-day tasks are always changing, she’s involved in organizing schedules and ensuring women access the new Women & Families Centre’s expanded programming. “It’s really exciting to see the women explore their individual interests,” she says. “We’ve added nutrition classes, finance classes, art, music, horticulture. Women are discovering the activities that can be a part of their lives going forward; they’re realizing they’re not as limited as they once believed.”
As the Women & Families Centre looks forward to its first Christmas, Corrin sees that feeling of possibility blossoming into transformation. “To have a safe, beautiful, happy place to live at Christmas time—it’s something that is beyond many of the women’s expectations. I love that we get to say ‘This is available to you, and you deserve it.’” Corrin is committed to passing on an important and often-overlooked message to the women at The Sanctuary. “It's hope,” she says. “There's hope for all people, there’s hope for a life that is not a continuous struggle. There's hope for a different future and for change now.”
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