Originally from the Okanagan Valley, Walter often found himself getting into trouble, eventually leading him to face time in jail. He also struggled with substance use, and heroin controlled his life for more than 22 years; however, after a near-fatal shot to the head, Walter began to have a new perspective on life.
In 2019,Walter moved to Vancouver to undergo a variety of surgeries for an arm injury he sustained in previous years. While seeking medical care, he would see the various cleaning crews around Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES) picking up litter, including Mission Possible's (MP) Clean Team. His curiosity was piqued, and he eventually sought out to join MP.
Walter started with MP on the Clean Team in the Spring of 2022and found that his favorite part about the work was the variety of services provided. He accessed housing support, took resume and cover letter workshops, and received one-on-one coaching as part of the Employment Readiness Program (ERP). Additionally, he loved how kind and welcoming the MP staff and fellow associates were.
What Walter found most rewarding about working with MP, though, was that he could do something that benefited the community. The added ‘Thank You’s’ he received from community members while on his routes were always nice and a “sign of a job well done” for Walter.
Walter's supervisors noticed his hard work and enthusiasm. A few short months after he started, he was awarded Attendance Superstar for showing accountability and reliability by attending all his shifts that month!
When his Clean Team contract came to an end, Walter applied to work with one of MP’s Business Improvement Association (BIA) routes. His application was successful, and he worked more independently on a consistent schedule of five afternoons a week on the same route with one other associate! Most recently, Walter has moved into working with the MP Maintenance crew doing power washing and window cleaning throughout the city.
One of Walter’s long-term goals is to move back home to Kelowna. Although he has had to take time to recover from a surgery, he is working hard to save money on each paycheque to purchase a trailer to live in. We are excited about Walter’s new position and look forward to seeing what he will achieve in the future!