L’Armée du Salut, une bouffée d’espoir

07
.13

Comment réagiriez-vous si soudainement vous n’aviez plus de revenus? C’est ce qui est arrivé à Take (se prononce Tochy) après un accident de ski. « Je n’aurais jamais pensé que quelque chose d’aussi improbable puisse m’arriver ou que ma vie puisse changer aussi radicalement », dit-il.

Pendant des années, cet immigrant japonais installé à Vancouver a vécu le rêve canadien. Il travaillait à son compte comme mécanicien et avait un intérêt marqué pour notre culture. Tout lui souriait, jusqu’au jour où sa vie a basculé.

« En 2012, je me suis blessé au bas du dos, raconte Take. J’ai cru que je me rétablirais rapidement, mais la douleur a empiré et je n’étais plus en mesure de travailler. Au début, je me suis débrouillé financièrement, mais au bout d’un moment l’argent vint à manquer. Je sautais des repas et ne payais plus mon loyer et mes factures d’électricité. On m’a alors expulsé. »

Subitement sans-abri

« Un après-midi, je suis rentré à la maison et toutes les serrures de mon appartement avaient été changées. Je n’avais nulle part où aller ni famille, car elle habitait au Japon, ni ami. C’était l’hiver. Il faisait froid et humide. J’ai sillonné les rues à la recherche d’un refuge avec comme seul bagage mon sac à dos et 10 $. Chacun de mes pas me faisait souffrir, et perdre espoir. C’était le début de la soirée, mais tous les refuges étaient déjà complets. »

Quand Take a franchi la porte du centre Harbour Light de l’Armée du Salut, il était reconnaissant d’y trouver un lit.

« Je ne peux pas vous expliquer le soulagement que j’ai ressenti quand je me suis retrouvé au chaud avec un toit sur la tête et un lit pour dormir, précise Take. Mon premier repas a été un bol de soupe fumante. J’aurais pleuré. »

Une raison de vivre

« À mon arrivée à l’Armée du Salut, j’avais tout perdu, voiture, argent, espoir, raconte Take. Je n’avais pas de famille au Canada et je broyais du noir. Je m’interrogeais souvent sur la pertinence de vivre. »

Grâce au soutien de l’Armée du Salut, la situation de Take s’améliora. Le personnel du centre l’a aidé à remplir les formulaires pour obtenir de l’aide sociale, à trouver un logement permanent, et à utiliser les ordinateurs pour communiquer avec les membres de sa famille. De plus, les travailleurs sociaux l’ont encouragé à terminer son secondaire, et en juin 2015, Take a reçu son diplôme.

« L’Armée du Salut m’a sorti du gouffre dans lequel j’avais sombré, et m’a redonné de l’espoir, dit Take. Aujourd’hui, je suis un bénévole au centre Harbour Light. C’est ma façon de les remercier. Maintenant, en plus de vouloir devenir un intervenant auprès des sans-abri et des jeunes à risque, j’ai une raison de vivre, et tout cela grâce à l’Armée du Salut. »

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