Thanks to your support, men are now getting healthier and housed with this new approach to sheltering called ShelterCare.
I didn’t think it would ever come to this.
I was sitting in the dark on the curb outside House of Friendship’s Shelter. It was a cold fall night, and I was waiting for a bed. I had nowhere else to go. I was tired, and I was scared, and I had one thought running through my mind – what is going to happen to me?
My life hadn’t always been like this. I used to work for an international company. I travelled around the world. I was married. I had a life that was more than just surviving.
My name is Mahaindra, but everyone calls me Roy.
In my 30s, I came to Canada for a better life – and I found it. I worked at a factory. Before long, I was working hard and making money.
I soon married, and had a daughter. I did what I could to support my family, but I fell into bad habits. I had to travel a lot, and I was drinking more than I should. It created a strain on my marriage. It ended, and I lost custody of my daughter.
It was the worst time of my life. I turned to the bottle more than ever before. I didn’t care anymore – I had lost the people most important to me, so why bother?
If it hadn’t been for your support, I don’t know what would have happened to me. I probably would have ended up under a bridge somewhere, freezing to death.
I moved to Kitchener, and found full-time work. I was making ends meet, but there was little left over at the end of the month.
And then I got sick. I had terrible pain, so I went to the doctor. My prostate was enlarged, and my doctor said I couldn’t do a physical job anymore. So I no longer had a job. I had to go through tests and I learned that it was cancer.
I was too proud to go on welfare. I couldn’t ask my family for help because I wanted them to believe I was worth something. I couldn’t pay my rent, and I lost my apartment.
I was a 65-year-old homeless man with no job, no money and nowhere to go. Thank God for House of Friendship – and thank God for you!
Because of you, I got the help I needed – a safe, warm place to stay. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I ended up getting a lot more.
Your support made it possible for House of Friendship to move the Shelter to a local hotel to keep everyone safe. There were doctors who came by to see us, and a health clinic was opened in the basement. Workers came to help us with housing applications.
House of Friendship calls this new way of doing things ShelterCare. It’s something they’ve dreamed of doing – putting all the supports, including health care, in one place. They originally thought they’d have to wait for three or more years to make it happen.
Instead, because of COVID, and your generosity, they were able to do it right away.
It’s been working really well. Men around me are getting healthier and able to moving into housing – faster than ever before.
ShelterCare is working! If you can help, please consider a gift today to help House of Friendship keep doing shelter like this! You will help men like me.
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