“Wisdom is knowing the right path to take. Integrity is taking it.”
I have no idea where the above quote comes from, but whoever it was hit the nail on the head. Many of the staff in our shelter system have that same kind of wisdom and integrity. Last week I had the privilege of watching one of those staff in action.
Causeway is an initiative that connects individuals who move out of our shelters with Christians who live in the neighbourhood they move into. The goal of Causeway is to help these men and women feel connected to their new community. By alleviating loneliness we believe that these new connections will deter them from abandoning their new apartments and returning to our shelters and the friends they’ve made there as a result of their loneliness.
I recently met a man who had been moving from one Salvation Army shelter to the next for over a decade. He was/is a physician, trained in New Delhi (where he is from) and practicing here in North America. While he was here he experienced a total family breakdown, shattering life as he knew it. He turned to drugs to escape the pain and before long he was living on the streets and in our shelters.
Syed, one of our housing workers wise enough to know his path in life, having the integrity to take that path, befriended this man. Now that this man has been housed, Syed’s job is to go into the community, meet with him and see if he needs any more support. When I met this man, he told me that Syed showed up at his place at just the right time. If Syed hadn’t stopped to visit that very day, he would have left his new apartment and moved back to one of our shelters, he was too lonely to stay.
When Syed met this man, he immediately thought of Causeway and contacted my coworker Megarrah to start the referral process. She was able to find two volunteers who live nearby and last week we invited him, the volunteers and Syed to dinner to make the introduction. He was thrilled to have some people willing to befriend and hang out with him every week.
All of this happened because a staff member, who is in the right job at the right time, kept his eyes open for the best opportunities available for his client. He has their best interests, not his own, at heart.
This is a story with integrity at its core, and its just one of many stories that happen every single day in our shelters. I for one am grateful to be a part of this team.
Let’s keep trying to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’. We’re making a difference.
Dion Oxford, Director of Mission Integration
Prayer for Integrity
God, I don’t know what I’m doing and I never will perfectly, so I will trust in your mercy enough to invite your constant testing and correction and hope that by your grace, I can walk with integrity in your truth.
Adapted from here