The Mustard Seed’s Shelter “Saved my Life"

Bruce is one of the original tenants of The Mustard Seed’s Beltline affordable housing building. He’s well-known by his neighbours, who fondly call him by his nickname “Bear."

He suits that nickname; he is a big Teddy Bear with a big heart and big smile. However, he admits he lost his way for a while.

Bruce was in a rough place when he first came to The Mustard Seed in December, 2010. He had developed serious medical problems, lost his job, then his home, and was sleeping in the back of his pickup truck.

“A friend of mine told me about The Mustard Seed, he said you should go see them. I spent three months in the shelter and really when you get down to it; the shelter saved my life.”

“When someone is giving you a place to stay and food in your belly, it’s a big deal.”

Bruce received food, shelter and the support he needed to move forward, including an opportunity to move into a Mustard Seed apartment building.

He moved into his apartment in March 2011, and he says moving into safe affordable housing allowed him to start over. “You really can’t start to better your own life until you have a safe and secure place to live.”

Recently, The Mustard Seed was able to retire the mortgage on the downtown apartment building thanks to an anonymous donor. It means the 20 residents in the Beltline building get a break on rent.

Bruce’s rent has gone down by 25 per cent. “I don’t know if anyone can say thank you enough, Calgary is a generous city,” he says.

Bruce came to The Mustard Seed when he was struggling financially, physically and emotionally. He’s made a lot of changes and worked hard to overcome the challenges he was facing.

These days every conversation you have with Bruce seems to be full of laughter and optimism.

Donors make a powerful impact on all of us – thank you.

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The Mustard Seed has three other affordable housing complexes in the city and we are able to offer housing to 286 people in total.