Sandy Merriman House
Victoria, British Columbia

The program provides 25 shelter beds for women, meals, basic needs, crisis intervention, counseling, referrals, medication and general support. It is open throughout the day for drop-in services and for shelter stays of up to 30 days.

Drop off Locations:
  • Rock Bay Landing, 535 Ellice Street, Victoria , Please drop off all gifts at the Rock Bay Landing shelter, 535 Ellice Street, Victoria (250-383-1951, [email protected]), open 24 hours a day. Just let them know that it is for Homeless Partners. We need all gifts by noon on December 22nd at the latest. Please ensure gifts are labeled with the Assigned ID (that is posted with that individual).





Pledged Gifts

44 of 51

Willisa R was born January 1, 1956. She was born in Vancouver ,and left Vancouver at three years old. She was raised in Hamlet in B.C. called Wells, Close to Barkerville. She came to Victoria in 1985, got married and became a military spouse. She ended up getting divorced, which actually went into annulment through the Catholic Church. She was a teenage bride! She has traveled extensively in her life, And has also been well educated. To name just a few of her credentials, for example she became a legal assistant and had her diploma, and worked for a time that way, and that she took a lab assistant course but didn't finish that one. She took a Tefl course at Uvic which allowed her to teach English as a second language. She had moved Victoria in 1985. So she went off to China, sold her car and everything she had to go to Yan Tai. She encountered quite a few difficulties when she arrived as she found out she didn't have the job of teaching English to students over there. They told her they didn't need a teacher and through a great series of events and grace she was able to get back home and she knows she was protected . She has taken many other courses as well and it seems she's always trying to educate herself someway. A very proactive woman! So through the course of hard times, no job, she found herself in debt with nowhere to go but to The Sandy Merriman House. She feels she does not fit in there and looks forward to getting out, being self-sufficient again and is busy looking for a job right now. What makes her feel happy is simple things, good movies, etc. If she won a lottery, she would love to travel, buy a modest house, do some self work for healing, get in shape, and live a modest happy life! She loves music. She loves to pray and she knows that she is supposed to be on the island. When we asked her what with all of her education, all her travels, and abilities what is attributed most to her difficulties in life she immediately said "if I had a better start in life I would have a different life". Willisa's real Father died young and she never really knew her mother, had met her later in life. She had other people raise her that where the age of what grandparents were, and it sounds like she was neglected and treated much like a servant. She was brought up very strict. She found out through blood testing that she had Jewish background in her DNA. She has a very strong faith in God. Her hearts' desire is to know and fulfill her destiny. She would love to get married to the right man. She definitely wants and needs the right job! That was her prayer! Willisa is a wonderful, bright, well learned woman who is caring and so interesting! A real delight!

Wish List
  • House Coat, Size 1X, Navy blue or gray

Cindy was born on Aug 7, 1956. She is originally from Calgary but has been in the Victoria area since 1986, when she came here for university studies. She has worked as a social worker. She's currently staying in Sandy Merriman for a variety of reasons, including a breakup, having to move out of her old home, and being a crime victim. However, the key reason she's in her current situation is that she suffers from SLE (more commonly known as lupus), an autoimmune disease that comes in various forms, and can attack internal organs and one's immune system. Ultimately, Cindy's goals are to get an advanced degree in Women's Studies, and wants to start a foundation here in Victoria for women who suffer from SLE, the Lupus Foundation, as there is currently no such organization in the city. In regards to what makes her feel happy, Cindy likes the feeling that she's moving in a positive direction. If she won a big lottery, Cindy would travel to Europe, particularly the UK, in order to visit the many historic castles and medieval ruins there and in other areas of the continent. She would also put money towards her Lupus Foundation. Cindy would like others to pray for her and her condition, that it will cease its debilitating effects and she can move on to her advanced studies and her foundation.

Wish List

This 54 year old woman from Courtney has lived in Victoria 16 years. She says, “…blessings have started to happen. I was jealous of my sisters and brother because they had a closer relationship with my father.” She says she has not spoken to two sons for six years. She says she was born premature and almost died at birth, was the black sheep in her family, and her mother used to beat her all the time. She was raped from age four to nine by her grandfather’s friend. She became an addict. She says, “I have learned that when I see someone else going through pain, I want to hug them.” She says her fiancé saved her life, and he is now clean and sober since August. He became a Christian, and she was baptized two years ago.

Wish List
  • Socks

  • Two Superstore gift certificates (one for each son)

Liberty is a 46 year old woman from New Foundland with 10 years in Victoria. She is waiting for housing. Addiction and childhood trauma have been her biggest challenges. The outdoors makes her happy. If she won a large lottery amount, she would buy land and build a log cabin "like a commune, live off the land." She would like prayers to "reconnect with myself," She has been clean and sober four months. She has been given a conditional sentence . For work she been a mason's apprentice renovating a heritage house in Oak Bay.

Wish List
  • some nice workgloves

  • cell phone (to have contact with son Jordan who is age 22)

Annalese does not want to share any information or tell her story publicly. She would like prayer for her and boyfriend. She want him to get help and her to remain safe.

Wish List

Jenna was born in Prince George on 20th of December 1973. Jenna has been in Victoria for 7years and plans to stay. Jenna worked as a chamber maid until she was laid off and in order to survive started to pan handle. Jenna became hopeless after a couple unsuccessful attempts at detox and has given up on recovery. If Jenna won the Lottery she would go to Ireland with her Boyfriend and get married. Please Pray that Jenna lands a job working with horses and for her health.

Wish List
  • Extra Large warm winter coat with a faux fur hood

  • Buss Pass

  • Phone

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Kelly is a 61-year-old male who moved to Victoria from Saskatchewan. He was in an automobile accident a couple years ago and waiting to settle with ICBC. He used to sell imported goods. He likes to see a group of people who volunteers and help other people. He is in a temporary transition right now in his life. What he missed the most when he was working was interacting with his co-workers and other people. Once he gets back working, he would like to give something back to the community. He believes that giving back to the community shows how important it is to help other people.

Wish List
  • Buss pass

  • Gift Card for Tim Hortons

Marlene was born in Bamfield, British Columbia. She has been in Victoria for fifteen years, and came here to reconnect with her two sons. Although she often goes to Port Alberni to visit her mother, she plans on living in Victoria because it is where her sons live. She expresses a huge amount of gratitude, for having a safe place to sleep, protected from the cold outside. She finds the greatest amount of happiness in spending time with her boys and in volunteering. The lack of stability is the most difficult part of her life right now, and she would like others to pray for her health and for a home.

Wish List
  • Jeans Size 30 black

  • Watch

  • Size 8 footwear

Caroline is all of 22 and a bundle of sweetness, compassion and optimism. She is also a minimalist and vegan. Both would have been her choice had she had one. Caroline has digestion issues and a high sensitivity to chemicals so what she eats and wares is well thought out. As is what she buys – it all has to pass a criterion that includes need, practicality, and longevity. I fell in love with her in under five minutes. Caroline has just arrived in Victoria from Ontario where she finished two years of college. She is here to begin her Naturopathic Medicine studies in January. As life will have it sometimes, the friend Caroline crossed the country with to study here - bailed, and with a mother who is raising Caroline’s siblings on her own there was no recourse but to stay the course. Not that she’d have it any other way. Fortunately, she was able to get into Sandy Merriman women’s shelter but there’s a bit of gap between when her 30 days there is up and when her funding for school comes in. So she is looking for shared accommodations and a job to carry her through the first part of January. When I asked what makes her happy, Caroline immediately replied Yoga and meditation – and she cannot wait to take care of people through her chosen occupation. When we got to the part where we asked what would make her Christmas wish list – she clapped her hands together and with a big smile said – ‘Oh my this is going to be the best Christmas I’ve ever had’! Let’s make that happen for this lovely young woman with such a big heart.

Wish List
  • Yoga mat (Used is best, new ones still smell of chemical or rubber that she’s highly sensitive to)

  • A Dollarama Gift Card – due to difficulty with shoe fit, this way she could pick them out herself

  • Value Village Gift Card – Caroline is a treasure hunter and huge on recycling

Laura is doing her best to get her life back on track after leaving Calgary and an unhealthy relationship. Physical violence has been a part of Laura’s whole life but through counselling and shear determination she is healing. Victoria was her chosen destination as she has family here and a much loved nephew and niece. Laura just recently secured a job as a first cook for a local restaurant and is currently looking for a home of her own while at the shelter. Laura’s compassion for others is palatable – we were hard pressed to get a single gift wish for Christmas out of her. She wanted peace…for all, she wanted… refugees to find a home, she wanted… no one to be alone. In rephrasing the question to - is there anything you need? Laura said she is so used to being the giving side that she was finding it very difficult to be a possible receiver.

Wish List
  • Backpack (medium size, any colour – though her favourite colour is purple)

  • Gift certificate for ladies clothing store Ardene

  • Bus tickets

Charlie is a woman who has been homeless for 5 years, She last lived in Nanaimo, but originally she is from Richmond. Charlie has recently been diagnosed with COPD and needs to frequently take a puffer. Her family whom she loves dearly, lives on the Island and is always at the forefront of her mind. Her Dad is a contractor and her Mom has had recent but successful battle with lung cancer. She has two sisters and a niece and a nephew. Living on the streets has been tough for Charlie, she has had many things stolen and tries to avoid the ‘dangerous people’ but it is emotionally and physically challenging. One day she would love to finish school and become a Youth Care Worker. She would like people to pray for her that Mom’s cancer doesn’t come back and that COPD gets better.

Wish List
  • backpack

  • Payless gift card

  • Warm Winter Coat Size Large

Janet is a newcomer to Victoria having recently moved away from an abusive relationship. She likes Victoria very much and is scheduled to move in to a small apartment soon. When I asked her what she would do if she ever won the lottery she said she would buy a house for her and her family.Janet would appreciate prayers for her health and for strength for her body to walk easier.

Wish List
  • Leather boots size 8 female

  • Senior Buss Pass

  • Underwear size large plus

Tanisha is 24 years; old she is a courageous young women with many talents whom has lived a life in and out of shelters and translation homes and yet she is very humble and grateful. Tanisha family has no understanding or concept of what shelter life is or feels like or the uncertainties of having things stole from you as many of us don't to which she finds it difficult speaking with her father about these issues. Tanisha at 24 has had to overcome relationships and alcohol abuse , she is holding strong but it is a change each and every day. Tanisha is from kitimat and has moved to Victoria, BC 1 month ago due to the unstable life. Tanisha was here last Christmas in this shelter but soon returned back to kititmat after ending a l relationship which prompted her here. Tanisha has never lived in a places that she could call home she is looking for stability and to have a home that she can call hers at this time her resident is another shelter and a truck that has no gas to drive that is parked outside only waiting to be towed . Tanisha is finding it very difficult to land a job in a place that she calls the city compared to what it is like back home a small community. Due to Tanisha living conditions it is hard for her to establish employment due to not having a forwarding address and no means of communication to set up any form of interviews due to this her stability for looking for secure employment and housing is troubling for her in whether or not she will reside in Victoria. Tanisha story touched me as I listened to her speak of her life you could hear this young women looking so badly for belonging, hope and most of all stability.

Wish List
  • Blanket

  • Gas Card

  • Calling Card

Adrian was born on the 6th of May 2015, after the lose of her sister when she was just 2years old her parents moved to Edmonton Alberta. After her parents divorce Adriana experienced anxiety and depression and struggles with a severe eating disorder, which forced her to drop out of school in grade 10, and is unable to work. Adriana is happy when she is visiting with people and playing with animals, Her favorite food is Honey Nut Cheerios, If she won the lottery she would buy a bacholer appt,a hudge comfy comforter and a laptop computer and spend her days righting poetry and storys.

Wish List
  • Tiger Balm

  • Emergen C Orange Flavored Vitamin C electrolight Mix

  • Neo Citron

  • *** Soft, Light, Knitted blanket (Dark, Checkered pattern) ****

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Lee was born in Victoria BC, on the 9th of October 1978, She has a 19year old daughter. Lees Husband was killed in gun fire 8years ago. Lee has struggled with health issues which left her unable to work , Lee and her daughter have been homless for the past 5 years. Lees Mother is dieing of AIDS, and Lee is most heappy when she is with her dog. Please pray that Lees health gets better.

Wish List
  • Gift Card for Walmart

  • Anything Guess Size Small

  • Purse and Wallet

Mary Lou S, now 47, has had to deal with many transitions in her life. She is originally from Southeast Kootenay and has two kids. She is struggling financially and, unfortunately, she had a heart attack last year, so she needs to take medication. One of the hardest things in Mary Lou’s life is a lack of privacy and own living space. She works really hard to support herself and her family but still can’t afford a place of her own. She has always been a very active person and, despite being unable to exercise as much as she used to, Mary Lou has recently started to take a yoga class. She believes that yoga will help her to access an inner strength to face the fears, frustrations, and challenges of her life that are overwhelming at times. Despite her challenges, Mary Lou has a big heart for helping people and loves to connect with others. She enjoys volunteering and finds joy in giving back to the community. When asked, what gift she would like to receive for Christmas, she said that she does not want anything for herself, but she would be happy if she could give back to the people that help her right now. She would like to give a box of chocolate for the staff here at Sandy Merriman House, a warm blanket and a backpack for one of the girls in the shelter, and a warm winter jacket for a friend of hers to help him stay warm. I asked her if she would like to continue to practice yoga and maybe get a class card gift for a yoga studio downtown. She has a big smile on her face and replies quickly, “yes, I would love that.”

Wish List
  • Box of Chocolate

  • Warm Blanket

  • Female Back pack

  • Large Female Winter Jacket

    Pledge This Gift
  • Yoga Studio Pass

Brianna is originally from Edmonton. Four years ago she became homeless. Then more recently, Brianna became homeless again July 15, 2015, when she lost her apartment in Esquimalt. Brianna has been in Victoria for 20 years, her family is here as well, she has a son (17 years old), and 2 daughters (13 and 14, adopted). Brianna plans to stay here at Next Steps for about a year. Brianna stated that she suffers from significant anxiety issues and finds it challenging to be around people. She explained how difficult it is to do the interview but was getting through it. What makes her happy, is having transportation, decent clothes (mentioned she has gained a lot of weight recently and needs clothes), also when she is with her son, Dylan. Brianna enjoys the simple things in life, like security, family, etc. Brianna explained that as she was growing up, her dad was absent, and mother was mentally ill. Therefore, Brianna and her siblings did not attend school, and were moved around a lot. Brianna said she also misses her son who is living with his dad. When asked what she would like others to pray for her, Brianna stated that she would like to continue on the healthy path that she's on currently. She also has dreams to go to school for addictions and mental health training, and get a job in the counselling field, as she has volunteered at Sandy Merriman's House and also has worked at Subway before.

Wish List