This post marks the first of a three part interview series. I had the privilege of meeting with three staff members of NightShift to hear about their roles in the organization and how they feel about the community that they interact with. Hearing these people talk passionately about the community that NightShift serves was an incredible experience.
First up, Marty. Marty is the Volunteer Services and HR Manager at NightShift and has been working with the organization since last year. His father was a former heroin addict that experienced a radical life change and turned away from drugs for good. So Marty grew up with his father teaching him what it looked like to have compassion towards people who struggled with addiction. For Marty, he didn’t see addicts as people who disrupt society, but he saw them as people who were like his dad.
How did Marty get involved with NightShift? He previously worked as a pastor for 17 years. Towards the end of that time, he felt his heart stirring for the local community. Although he served in the local church, he wanted a job where he could work with people within a community context. He yearned for a job that gave him experience on the ground with people who were struggling. Marty came across a blessing in disguise when his church started to struggle financially. He decided to follow the call on his heart to jump into something new, and asked the senior pastor to be laid off. From there, Marty was uncertain in what his future would look like, but he knew he made the right decision. A few months later, Marty started his job with NightShift.
What does Marty’s job look like? To put it simply, he interacts with the community in Surrey a lot. He meets with anyone who wants to become a part of NightShift, or anyone who could potentially work with the organization. Networking is Marty’s thing. He also is sometimes hired to speak at schools or churches. Lastly, he oversees all of the volunteer training. NightShift provides a structured volunteer training course called FORGE, which includes guest speakers that cover a wide range of topics. I will provide more information on FORGE in November when I go through it myself!
When I asked Marty how he feels challenged in his job, he responded that he faces the challenge of seeing the needs of vulnerable people in Whalley and knowing that he can’t always offer solutions. Marty said he came into his job with a superman complex — believing that he could come into NightShift and save the street people he came across. However, he quickly realized that he could learn from these people what love, hope, and purpose truly meant.
That is where NightShift’s mission is fully experienced: to love unconditionally and to help each other find hope and purpose. Marty’s job allows him to give people on the street a sense of love, hope, and purpose, but further than that, these people give Marty a sense of love, hope, and purpose as well. What a beautiful collaboration.
Next up in the interview series, Keri, who is in charge of communications at NightShift.