“How SOS saved my life”


Guest Blog By Al Simpson, SOS Program Participant

I had not put away money for the day when I had a heart attack. Everything came to a halt that day. No, I would not be throwing around sheets of plywood anymore or doing this, that or the other.

During that time, I learned that if I walked, that would really help my chest expand and get me back to normal. I would walk 4 or 5 km a day. I was staying at a friend’s house. When she moved back to the mainland, it was very, very difficult to find a place to live. I wound up being 64 years old, with 2 weeks left before I hit the streets.

I was soon to be homeless when I was put in touch with SOS. With the support of a couple of programs, one of them headed by a very capable employee named Sarah, I was able to find a place to live. I was helped with rent and food security. They helped get me back on my feet again.

Until then, I hated everyone and everything. You couldn’t say two words to me I would tell you to bugger right off. Sarah said to me Al, you really have to decide to be a little more gentle to people because they are going to start to react to you in a negative way and no one will want to listen to what you have to say. It became something to really think about. And then I got some help from Oceanside Mental Health.

Now, every time I go to SOS, if I see Greta, the Homeless Prevention Program Coordinator, I ask her how many people she’s housed, and she’ll give me a number, and I’m just delighted.

A lot of people when they get to SOS, they’ve already been put through the wringer. And they know if this place doesn’t work, I’m done. I’m cooked. Which was my situation.

If SOS has drives to help with toys or money or whatever, I will try my best to give a little of what I’ve got. We appreciate this place so much. SOS has many programs, even help filing Income Taxes. They support kids, adults and seniors at Christmas.

I’m getting used to the fact that I have the things I need. Most of my life has not been that way. I started to realize I was a plus not a minus…well maybe you don’t think you deserve it, but you do.

I’m still here 6 years later, doing really well. I thank SOS for all they have done over the years for me.

If you need help, I urge you to call SOS and make an appointment with one of the very capable people there.

Al Simpson
SOS Program Participant