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Were you homeless prior to coming to the Coalition?

Yes.  I was actually living in a tent in Genola for more than 4 months.  It was very difficult to deal with, particularly after the first few weeks.  I had to camp in locations that wouldn’t bother others.  This placed me far away from resources that I needed to access.  At first, I met the challenge thinking I could do it, but eventually it began to grind on me as the days and weeks, and eventually months passed.

How did your stay at the Food and Care Coalition impact you?

When I moved upstairs at the Coalition I was thrilled and overwhelmed with excitement.  After numerous setbacks, it sparked a hope within me that quite honestly was beginning to fade.  When I received the call that I had been accepted to move in, I broke down crying.  There was an immediate feeling of relief, gratitude, and hope that I can’t fully describe.  The facility was clean and well taken care of and the staff were so supportive of my efforts to find the resources necessary to get back on my feet.  After staying for 7 months, I was able to save up enough money and find an apartment of my own.  I’ve now been reunited with my children, have a good job, reliable transportation, and can actually see a future for myself.

Is there anything you would want the public to know about your story? 

For those of you who are in a difficult situation or place right now, my advice would be to believe in yourself and realize that you are the only one who can change your life.  Sometimes you have to ask for help, but you always have to put in the effort yourself.  There will always be struggles but there is no such thing as “I can’t”.  It will be hard, it may take more time than you would hope, but if you want it, you have to go get it.  The Coalition provided so many opportunities that I and others were able to take advantage of.  This place is amazing and thank you to everyone in the community who have made it possible and sustain its efforts.