“As far as my mother, I don’t really know what she really did. But I came here (to The Children’s Shelter) and I stayed here. I was probably 3 years old when I stayed here, me and my sisters and brothers. I actually stayed here twice.”
SirMalcolm (“Malcom”) stayed at our Children’s Shelter twice as a young boy. While he can’t recall the traumatic feelings many children experience when arriving at our shelter, he does remember positive feelings.
“Because I was so little, I don’t remember having any emotions as far as being sad or upset, or even confused. I just remember having fun—like a kid going to daycare and playing with their friends. So, it didn’t really bother me at the time.”
Malcolm’s most vivid memories of the shelter are the safe feelings he experienced while staying with us.
“I can think of all of the foster homes I went through—and I have been through a lot of them—and I feel like I was abused in 90 percent of them. The Salvation Army was a place where I could think of me coming into care where I felt safe.”
Now at 28 years old, Malcom has found his way back to The Children’s Shelter and works as Residential Child and Youth Care Provider. He tries to focus on making the kids feel safe and comfortable.
“Showing the kids love (and positive attention), because I think that’s what’s very important. I feel like the situation I went through, even though things were confusing, I just remember the little bit of love I received here, so I try my best to give that to the kids what they don’t experience elsewhere.”
Although Malcom has only worked at our shelter for a few months, he is proud to be part of the staff and humbled to have the opportunity to give back to the place that impacted him so deeply.
“I’ve worked with a lot of kids and I’ve grown attached to them, and they’ve grown attached to me and to the other staff. I think that we do a very good job and I think that the kids, when they do leave here, they feel safe and loved by the staff and they get other friends, too.”
Malcolm’s path hasn’t been the easiest, but he remains grateful of his journey, including the challenges he has faced along the way.
“I will say that I went to a point in life where it was depressing because I wasn’t with family and things like that, but I began to realize that everything I go through, it led me to the place that I’m at today. I feel like if I would have never went through everything I went through—the shelter, the foster homes and things like that—I wouldn’t be the loving and caring person that I am today.”