One’s past is often difficult to manage and reconcile, particularly when it contains darkness and pain.

Knights Table in Brampton receives funding for “The Pantry” program from United Way of Peel Region. It provides food, resources and social supports, such as counselling and budgeting workshops, to families and individuals who are homeless or have other immediate needs. Many of the clients they serve are haunted by their pasts, and in this way, struggle to find a better future.

Glen Harvey is one Peel resident who credits his salvation to Knights Table and United Way.

After losing his parents just a few years ago, Glen’s life-long battle with drug addiction seemed undefeatable. “I just gave up on life,” he said, “I lost my business, my house and my fiancée. I was a homeless addict who didn’t care about anything but getting my next fix.”
Drowning in desperation, Glen finally found hope and support at Knights Table. It was there he met a group of student volunteers who inspired him and encouraged him to get his life back on track. He made them a promise to stay drug-free for one year. That was in November 2010. Today, Glen continues to be clean and sober.

“The Knights Table truly saved my soul,” he says. “The counselling and resources that was provided, as well as the caring volunteers and students, helped me get my life back.”

Glen is a figure of inspiration, not only because of his incredible surmounting of personal issues, but because he now dedicates himself to helping and encouraging others to do the same. His speaking engagements include United Way’s Speakers Bureau, where the impact of his story earned him a 2011 Spirit Award.

“I feel blessed that I am able to connect with people and educate them about poverty and addiction,” he says. “I can’t change my past, but thanks to United Way and Knights Table, I can make a better future for myself and others.”