Psalm 23 - Our People
Marvin Declare is Founder and Executive Director of Psalm 23 Transition Society - a registered Canadian charity serving people struggling with addiction, homelessness, and poverty in communities throughout central and southern B.C.
For nearly 27 years of his life, Marvin struggled with his childhood abuse, depression, addictions and periods of homelessness. In 1996, he made the courageous decision to change the course of his future by entering into recovery. After two years of intensive healing, Marvin was successful in turning his life around - and to this day, he remains addiction free.
With a commitment to helping others do the same, Marvin enrolled in a counsellor training program - and in 1999, he graduated from The Counsellor Training Institute with honours.
Marvin continued his education taking specialized courses in addictions at The Justice Institute. There, he was selected by his peers and faculty members to receive a special award recognizing his tireless and positive contributions to the quality of student and community life on campus. In his final year, Marvin was also voted Class Valedictorian.
Marvin's passion for those suffering from addiction and homelessness grew stronger during his four and a half years of working with Union Gospel Mission in downtown Vancouver.
It was there he was possessed by a Vision to do more than just help people recover from addiction. His dream was to go far beyond the normal, short term recovery programs to help people build the integrity of character that leads to a lasting addiction free lifestyle.
It was to support them in their education and to develop their life management and job skills. In this way, they could find gainful employment and become independent of the welfare system.
It was also to empower them to give back to their community - to help others who were also in need. Ultimately, it was to help them find purpose in life - a reason to live beyond just themselves - and to be part of a community where they felt important, valued and included - a place where they felt they truly belonged.
Marvin followed this God-given dream and founded Psalm 23 Transition Society in 2001. He did this with the opening of his basement to a few desperate men who also wanted to end their addiction and change the course of their lives. By 2003, Marvin resigned from Union Gospel Mission to focus on building Psalm 23.
Marvin has dedicated his life to serving God and is determined to change the face of addictions, crime and homelessness in our communities. His passion and commitment to "Make A Difference - One Person at a Time" continues to change the lives of those who once had given up all hope.
Marvin is married to Shelley, his beautiful wife of 25 years, who is also an important and integral partner in Psalm 23's rapid growth. Together, they have a son Tyler who is at Ottawa University completing his degree in Criminology and Psychology - his education being paid for by way of football and academic scholarships.
During the brief and rare days when Marvin and Shelley are not running Psalm 23, they enjoy golfing and travelling down south to bask in the hot Mexican sun.
Shelley Declare - Administration Director
Dave Skoda - Ministry Program Director
Brad Arthurs - Care Team Support Worker
Loretta Braun - Care Team Support Worker
John Larche - Chairman (GM, Centra Windows)
Sharon Decker - Secretary (Retired)
Shelley Declare - Treasurer