April 27, 2018 7:00 am
Updated: April 27, 2018 9:10 am

How Siloam Mission changed one man’s life

One Winnipeg man credits Siloam Mission for changing his life.

Shelden Rogers/Global News

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Ron Bohdan credits Siloam Mission with transforming his life.

“I was 50 years old and I thought my life was over, that there was no hope for me,” he told 680 CJOB’s Mackling and Megarry.

“I started coming to Siloam Mission, using the services there, the shelter, and my life changed.”

He used Siloam’s services for several years — sleeping at the shelter, getting mental health support and receiving guidance on how to get back into the workforce.

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“The staff there, they smile, they talk to you, they actually actually care. They’re there because they want to be there,” he said. “I’ve met some volunteers who took an interest in my situation personally, and they showed me that I could have a better life. They stood by me and showed me by example that if I did certain things that my life would change, and it has.”

Bohdan said he was grateful for all the help he received along the way, but noted there was a specific turning point that really got him on the road to recovery.

“There was one night that I wasn’t able to get into the shelter and I ended up sleeping outside,” he recalled. “It was actually quite cold. The next night I was able to get in and get into bed and you know, I just said ‘Thank you, God.’ I finally appreciated what Siloam offers – just having that bed, something I just took for granted.”

Now Bohdan is giving back, volunteering his time with the organization that helped him beat addiction and improve his mental health.

“Somebody took the time to change my life, and it’s hard to explain, but you feel this from the heart and I thought my life was over,” he said.

“Change does happen – it’s happened in my life – and I see it happening in other people’s lives as well.”

Siloam Mission’s communications manager Luke Thiessen said the organization not only helps people get back on their feet, but it helps other people understand homelessness.

“Most people in Winnipeg have seen homelessness in our city and know that’s something that’s present here and a real issue,” he said. “But most people don’t understand it, and so that’s part of what we do.”

Thiessen reiterated Siloam offers more than “just a meal and a warm bed.”

“We’re working with people to find housing, we’re working with them to address health concerns, mental health,” he said.

“Homelessness is a complex issue and there’s so much that we can do, and education is a big part of that so that people know how to help.”

680 CJOB is proud to support the Siloam Mission Spring Radiothon, and will be broadcasting live from Kildonan Place on April 27 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Stories of Siloam Mission’s impact will be shared all day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We’ll be down at Kildonan Place doing the Radiothon during the day,” Thiessen said. “We really encourage people to tune in and hear some of the stories of what’s going on at Siloam Mission, and open your hearts to giving and being a part of the stories that happen there.”

You can donate online or by calling 1-844-9-SILOAM (844-974-5626).

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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