FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
– Thursday, April 14th 2022 –
UGM To Serve 2400 Easter Meals Amidst Converging Crises
Metro Vancouver woman who overcame homelessness and addiction: “I’m a story of hope”
(Vancouver, B.C) – When Laura Harvey was experiencing homelessness in Fort McMurray, Alberta, the 56-year-old never imagined that pursuing healing and recovery during a pandemic would inspire her to share the hope she found with others in the Downtown Eastside this Easter.
“I lost everything…”Harvey shares. “Today my life looks nothing like it did 10 years ago. At my lowest point I had no home, no family. I had been on the street for so long. Now I have a beautiful home and my son thinks I’m his hero. And I love giving back...For me, gratitude’s an action word, which sometimes can only come from adversity.”
Harvey spent her early adult years trying to soothe and fill the void that an unstable childhood left in her. She turned to unhealthy romantic relationships, and tried using alcohol and drugs to medicate the pain, which soon spiraled into addiction. She tragically found herself, doing survival sex work while living in a tent city in Fort McMurray for five years. Surviving day-to-day life sometimes involved being in dangerous, life-threatening situations.
As COVID-19 began to spread illness and isolation for so many, Harvey found home and hope at Lydia Home, one of UGM’s women’s recovery programs. Two years later as the world continues to open back up while a still raging fentanyl crisis claims lives daily, she’ll be at UGM sharing her story and serving hundreds of Easter Meals on Saturday, April 16th, to others struggling with homelessness, poverty and addiction.
“I’m a story of hope,” says Harvey. “I lost hope and thought that things would never be different, so I resolved to that life...Today I know all things can change. Never give up. Keep fighting – things can be different, they don’t have to stay the same.”
“Laura’s story highlights the incredible transformation and rebirth that can come out of dark times in our lives,” says UGM’s Nicole Mucci. “This Easter is a tangible reminder that life can feel the darkest right before a new dawn. We remember all that we have come through together and celebrate the hope and light that we are seeing bloom all around us.”
MEDIA EVENT DETAILS
Date: Saturday, April 16th, 2022
Time: Media wishing to attend are asked to arrive no later than 10:25am
Where: 601 East Hastings, Vancouver (@ Princess):
- Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before arriving
- Upon arrival at 601 E Hastings, please do not enter the UGM building. Instead, please set up on the West side of Princess Street, near the parklet, where interviews will be conducted. We’ll be there to greet you!
- Easter Meals will be served ‘to go’ through the drop-in doors.
- 1300+ lbs of Ham
- 425 lbs Scalloped Potatoes
- 150-160 l Gravy
- 400 lbs Vegetables
- 400 Pies
Media Communications Manager
Cell: (778) 996-1417
Media Communications Officer
ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than 80 years. Through its eight locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides emergency shelter, meals, outreach, career development counselling, education, safe and affordable housing, addiction recovery, and much more to those struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. The heart of UGM is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of those who are vulnerable, and come alongside people who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit www.ugm.ca.
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