We are inspired to see and encourage the possibilities of each family, person and child to be healthier, balanced, and better equipped for their life’s journey! The passion for Cherub’s Inn was born out of the founder’s personal experience and re-affirmed through experiences faced by her daughter. At times we have all needed a hand up, a safe place to land, and someone to come along side us to affirm that we are not alone, and to offer practical supports that can change our life path.
Raised in a single parent family, Sharlene knows firsthand the emotional struggles and reality of having less than enough. Living with her mom and sister, the three of them tried to make the best of the difficulties and challenges life presented. She watched as her mom worked to make ends meet and experienced the weariness of her mom being the sole provider for physical needs (shelter, clothing, food) and emotional needs (being present, giving hugs, reassurance and safety).
As years went on, Sharlene’s mom grew stronger, advanced in her career, and was able to better provide as she seized opportunities. Sharlene was taught from a young age to be honest, hardworking, committed, and with whatever you do, give it your best and do it well. As a youngster, Sharlene was described as tenacious (some would say stubborn), compassionate and driven.
Thankfully, Sharlene had ‘gifts’ sprinkled throughout her life. These gifts included her loving maternal grandparents that were bright spots in her life; finding faith in and relationship with God, and having the opportunity to attend Christian High School. It was at the Christian school she made lifelong friendships and met two teachers who had a significant influence and impact on her.
From as young as she can remember, Sharlene wanted to help people and protect those who couldn’t protect themselves, so she set her sights on becoming a police officer. However, it was anything but a straight line to achieving her goal.
First, she met her now husband, Tom, when she was in her mid-teens. While attending Kwantlen University studying Criminology, she and Tom got engaged, and a short time later she was expecting their first child. Soon, they married. All this before Sharlene was twenty years old.
Sharlene and her husband had two more children, and their family was complete. The early years were hard, but fortunately, she and her husband grew closer through the difficulties and took life’s challenges on together.
After having her three children, she pursued her career as a police officer, and in 1997 that dream was realized. Sharlene enjoyed a full and diverse policing career while raising her family, which left little time or energy to take on anything more.
Because of Sharlene’s own experience from her upbringing, combined with a strong desire to support and protect others, the seeds of Cherub’s Inn were sown. But because of her all-encompassing career and the demands of raising a family, she tucked this vision for Cherub’s Inn away until her children became adults and she retired from her career.
Sharlene’s vision and the need for Cherub’s Inn were reignited through first-hand experience when her daughter, Corine, became a single teen mom.
One of the defining moments of this experience came when Sharlene realized that Corine knew the door back home was open, and she could find support and a positive environment to face the challenges of becoming a young mom. Sharlene and her husband (and their two sons) walked with her through this journey.
Sadly, this is not the case for many.
From Sharlene: This little doll (my granddaughter) has taught me that, as much as I am needed and mean to her; she is that to me! Age is irrelevant- we learn from each other. We have the same need; to belong, to be connected and to be loved. We teach and walk alongside one another in this journey of life.
Corine and her daughter lived with Tom and Sharlene for three years before Corine met and married a young man and started their life together adding 5 more children to their family.