“I used to donate to the food bank. I never expected I would one day need to go and ask for food.”
Leonard, 59, has been trying to rebuild his life for years.
In 2010, Leonard was in a car accident that caused serious injuries – three broken ribs, and an injured hip. He was in a wheelchair for weeks.
Still, he returned to his work as office manager at a transmission shop right away. He managed to keep on working for two years, until the pain of his injuries caught up with him. Leonard took several weeks off work in a row – too many for his boss, who didn’t take him back.
To make matters worse, his fiancé decided to break it off with him because he was no longer working. Leonard was soon without a place to live.
“She was the breadwinner. When it became too difficult, she wanted me out.”
Living on monthly disability payments (ODSP), Leonard soon found that the monthly payment didn’t go far enough to pay for both rent and food. He struggled that first day he realized he needed to ask for help.
“It was embarrassing,” said Leonard. “I didn’t want to go. When I did go, I just wanted to hide my face. It took a lot for me to go and ask for assistance. I had always donated, and now I needed help.”
Now, Leonard relies on support from House of Friendship’s Neighbourhood Food Distribution at Chandler Mowat Community Centre, which allows him to get food close to home.
Your generous support is helping Leonard have some stability in his life – knowing that he has food to eat makes it possible for him to think ahead, and look to the future.
He continues to look for a way to find his way back into the workforce, finding a job that he can do, in spite of his physical challenges.
“I want to be back working, where I can feel a sense of accomplishment on a daily basis. I miss that.”