Chrissy Deye and Dan Sallis helped the homeless people who were told on Feb. 5 to move from their tent camp next to the Trans-Canada Highway in order to accommodate work on the four-laning project at the west end of Salmon Arm. Some were housed in the Travelodge in Salmon Arm. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Strangers chip in to provide support for homeless in Shuswap

Helping one person provides ripple effect many years later

Just as Chrissy Deye is about to head down to the Travelodge motel in Salmon Arm to check on the homeless people she’s been helping during the cold weather, her phone buzzes.

She receives notice that someone she knows from the Lower Mainland has just donated $500 towards the motel bill. She’s overwhelmed.

Dan Sallis, who’s been providing his support as well, is equally amazed by the size of the gift.

The motel rooms have been rented since Monday, Feb. 4, so it’s now been well over a week. Deye is not sure how long it will last.

“Day by day, I’m trusting that’s what we’re supposed to be doing,” she says. “God wants them inside, right? Saturday night I had no money for rooms, Sunday I had money.”

Related: Homeless tenters must move for four-laning preparation

Deye says a man and woman from the Coast who she helped get inside years ago have already donated twice.

She recounts when she received a panicked call from the man’s spouse several years ago saying he was suicidal – he had been struck by two cars when high on crack cocaine and nobody stopped.

“What broke him was that nobody stopped, not that he was hit by the cars.”

Deye says it’s important people understand that by helping one person, there’s a ripple effect all these years later.

“Now he’s in a position with a job, a house and is able to give back to our community.”

If you want to help people, you have to walk alongside them, she emphasizes. If you want people to give up addictions, then you have to give them something to replace hanging around other addicts.

“Go for coffee with them, look in on them.”

If they’re still high, don’t judge them, she says. “So you take them right where they are… Just love them; that love makes a difference.”

Related: Five years ago, homeless man ‘had everything’

Sallis, who was homeless for a summer, talks about what a difference having a roof over your head makes, being able to have a shower. Already, there’s a difference in the people staying in the motel.

“You get so much dignity back. You almost resemble a human being again.”

Deye also compliments the Travelodge.

“There’s a kindness there,” she says.

Savi Sandhu, who works at the motel, says he thinks people on the street deserve help. He also says this group has not been a problem.

“It’s been good… There was one incident but it was all sorted out.”

Sandu says people have been generous.

“Strangers will call and we put money on the room. I think around 10 people have called.”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ fire which made its way to the home

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Wilson M. Beck Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna benefiting YMCA of Okanagan

The tournament is sold out with 144 golfers swinging for the cause

Is construction in Kelowna hurting small businesses, or helping them?

Voices from both sides of the spectrum weigh in

Kelowna baseballers invited to league all-star game

The 2019 West Coast League All-Star Game will have two players from the Kelowna Falcons

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Summerland clinic will be closed on August long weekend

Medical office assistant needed at Rosedale Medical Clinic

Most Read