Andy Bhatti is joining former Canucks Kirk McLean and Greg Adams in the Hockey Helps the Homeless tournament on Nov. 28.

Andy Bhatti helping the homeless at hockey tournament

Langley man has been homeless and knows some of the causes of the growing social issue.

Langley resident Andy Bhatti is lacing up his skates and joining Canucks favourites like Kirk McLean and Greg Adams in Hockey Helps the Homeless Tournament in Vancouver to help raise money for homeless shelters for youth and adults on Nov. 28.

Bhatti, an advocate for survivors of child sexual abuse has raised around $40,000 for his cause over the past couple years doing poker tournaments and cycling 700 km in B.C. last summer.

But helping the homeless is important to him too, because he lived on the streets of Aldergrove and the Downtown Eastside as a teenager and knows all too well the difference shelters can make.

“No one grows up wanting to be homeless,” said Bhatti.

Many of the male homeless population in Vancouver are made up of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Bhatti lived in and out of addiction to heroin for 12 years, hiding his pain of being abused.

“When I was a kid I dreamed of being a hockey player,” said Bhatti.

“The people that worked at the shelter were so nice and caring and didn’t judge me,” said Bhatti. “Three years later I changed my life. I’m now eight years clean off drugs but  I will never forget the people in the homeless shelter for calling the ambulance that day and help ing to save my life.”

Bhatti will be joined on the ice with Canuck favourites Kirk McLean, Dave Babych, Jyrki Lumme, Geoff Courtnall and Alex Auld, among many others, when they play at UBC.

Last year’s tournament raised more than $346,000 in gross revenue.

Among those shelters supported are the Covenant House for youth and Rain City Housing.

A full-blown heroin addict by the age of 14, Bhatti was self medicating his pain after being sexually abused by his Big Brother, starting at the age of nine until 13.

His abuser, who volunteered as a Big Brother through Langley Big Brothers and Sisters at the time, was convicted of sexually abusing two boys in Kamloops.

Bhatti is creating his own charity for victims of childhood sexual abuse Called Survivors Supporting Survivors.

“Our goal is to  carry the message to any survivor that there is hope and we can recover  from any form of abuse, addiction or sexual abuse.”

To sponsor him for the hockey tournament online, go to hockeyhelpshomeless.com and go to Andy Bhatti sponsor page. If you would like to write a cheque to Hockey Helps the Homeless, he can be reached at 778-829-4357. He has already raised $700 for the cause.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Giants defenceman Byram headed to NHL prospects game

The young player is following in the footsteps of former Giant Ty Ronning.

Langley Rams receiver inks with BC Lions

Jevon Cottoy joined the Rams this season and now has a multi-year contract with the Lions.

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

McGregor Says: Shopping husbands will survive

Columnist Jim McGregor offers a little advise to those husbands required to go Christmas shopping.

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Christmas fun at Aldergrove Library: VIDEO & PHOTOS

Youngsters enjoyed decorating a Christmas tree with their homemade craft decorations

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Kodiaks avenge themselves against Pilots: ACTION PHOTOS

Aldergrove and Abbotsford Junior B hockey teams tie game at 5-5

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Most Read