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Shelter bosses bid adieu

Miranda Scotland
Northern News Services
Published Friday, June 8, 2012

After five years of service with Yellowknife's Salvation Army, Jo and Dale Sobool are transferring to a new location.

The couple is moving to Penticton, B.C. on June 17, where they will take up positions as pastors and executive directors for that community's Salvation Army.

Jo said although they are excited to go somewhere new, they are sad to leave Yellowknife behind.

"We've loved it. I've loved the North, loved the culture, loved the people. It's just been a wonderful experience," she said. "It's given us an opportunity to work with people in a very special way and we're going to miss that opportunity. We have loved working with the men in Bailey House and seeing how they have moved on in their lives and how we have been able to encourage and help."

Before coming to Yellowknife, the couple was stationed at Salvation Army locations in Grande Prairie, Alta., Cranbrook, B.C. and Toronto, Ont. According to Jo, the organization often arranges to have its executive directors and pastors move to a new location every five to seven years.

In Yellowknife, the Sobools acted as pastors and executive directors of the Salvation Army.

As part of their duties they oversaw the Salvation Army's food bank, Bailey house, the thrift store, the men's shelter, the withdrawal management program and family services.

"It's been a great experience meeting new people and new cultures and working in a very active community," Dale said about his time in the city. "It's been very humbling."

For Jo, her fondest memories are of the sharing circle she and Dale held on Tuesday and Thursday nights for men from the shelter and Bailey house. The circle allowed the men to share important events in their life or issues they might be facing and receive support as well as encouragement from the group.

"We'll miss those times. They were very, very special," Jo said.

When they leave, Sobool said, she will also miss the beauty of the North and the people she met. She added that she would cherish the unique lessons she learned from the residents of Yellowknife.

"Coming up North there is so much emphasis on respect and honour and I think that we have learned an appreciation of that so much more than when we were in the other places in Canada," she said.

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