WATCH: Homeless Partners shares stories of people who are homeless in your community and hopes to grant their wish. Isabelle Raghem explains.
During the holidays, Homeless Partners has developed a Christmas Wish-List, which has wishes coming from an individual living in a shelter who has shared his/her story.
Krystal Stewart is one of the people living at Victoria’s Rock Bay Landing who has shared her story and wishes.
“A couple years ago, I got pregnant at the wrong time, [with the] wrong person. It became a really controlling situation so I left and because I left I became homeless and I’ve been homeless for the last year and a half.”
Twenty-five-year-old Stewart now lives apart from her son, as she builds a better life for both of them.
“My wish list is a warm blanket, some makeup and some Victoria bus tickets,” Stewart said
Daniel Keeran and his wife launched the online program 12 years ago.
“I think the tendency is to walk by [the homeless] and to treat them as invisible,” says Keeran, “We thought that if people could read the personal stories they would become personally bonded to the person and understand why they are on the street.”
Victoria is among a dozen of cities on the HomelessPartners.com.
On the website, users can click on a local shelter to read stories of residents and pledge to grant one of their wishes.
“When they receive their gifts, it’s it’s a special kind of thing to see clients understand that people do care for them,” says Nikki, a coordinator at Rock Bay Landing.
Nikki says the program isn’t about the gifts, it’s about compassion.
“An outside citizen reading those stories and seeing that everyone is individual and unique and their victims of circumstances is an incredibly powerful message to send.”
Stewart has an even bigger wish this Christmas.
“I’m hoping the stigma towards homeless people ends,” Stewart said.
Donors are encouraged to make a wish come true, and can even attach a personal message.