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Celebrating the Shepherds

Today CBC Ottawa is raising money for the Shepherds of Good Hope, a shelter and social service organization in Lowertown. The CBC's Jeanne Armstrong has been gathering the stories of the people who make up the Shepherds community - the clients, the staff and the volunteers.

The Grocery and Clothing program at the Shepherds opens its doors twice a week to the surrounding neighborhood. Men and women in the area depend on the program for donated canned goods, bread and the odd piece of clothing. And while the donations keep coming, managers say the lineups are getting longer.

Ten years ago, Andre Parent was homeless.Fast forward to today, his life has turned around, and he works full-time repairing furniture. Since we first spoke with Andre last year, he's persuaded other Shepherds clients (including Guy, who's in the picture below) to pick up woodworking. Jeanne caught up with the group as participants were sanding down their latest project: walking canes.

The Shepherds' dedication to the chronically homeless is obvious when you visit the first floor of 256 King Edward Avenue. That's the home of a new program called TESP, which stands for Transitional Emergency Shelter Program. Jeanne went for a tour with social worker Paul Power.

We also have a sad update for you about a Shepherds client CBC told you about last year. Gary was an alcoholic and part of the Oaks' Managed Alcohol Program. He also suffered from Parkinson's and chronic lung disease, and in October, he passed away. Jeanne brought us the voices from his funeral service.

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