From Homelessness To Housed

Big B takes great pride in his new home.

The one-bedroom unit is simply furnished, and might not seem that special at first glance. But for Big B (the name he prefers to go by), it means so much. 

His care and attention is everywhere. 

Everything is neat and tidy. Some of his artwork hangs on the walls, and Big B is quick to show off his prized possessions – his collection of shoes lined up along the wall, and his thrifted blue glass vases and bottles in his cupboards.

The sense of pride is everywhere. And why not? 

After all, it’s his first home in nine years. 

Big B grew up in the area, going to school at St. Jerome’s. He struggled with school and was expelled before he could complete his diploma.

He soon started work as a mechanic, at the age of 17.

But Big B also struggled with his behavior, along with his drinking, leading to a time in prison. When he got out, he moved in with his aging parents.

His mom passed away in 2011, after a serious illness. When his dad died a few years later, he had nowhere to go. 

I couch-surfed with my sisters for a bit, but that didn’t work out for long.”

Since then, he’s been in and out of shelters, finally landing at House of Friendship’s ShelterCare program at 190 Weber St. N. in Waterloo.

There, Big B’s creative side shone brightly – he had the chance to take part in therapeutic art programs, creating some of the art that now hangs on his wall.

Big B also took advantage of other onsite supports, including connecting with the program’s addiction counsellor.

“It was nice to have someone to talk to,” said Big B. “It made a difference.”

And through ShelterCare’s support to find permanent housing, Big B moved into House of Friendship’s Supportive Housing program last year.

Now, he’s enjoying living independently – while also having onsite staff support to navigate this new life.

When Big B looks back on his journey, he is thankful for the help he found through ShelterCare.

“Without it, I’d probably be on the streets.”

Your faithfulness is helping men like Big B recover from homelessness and start a new story for their lives. Thank you!

Posted on: June 28th, 2024

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