Kathy – LOFT Bradford House

Kathy – LOFT Community Services“I have lived other places but Bradford House is home.” Kathy told me since she has lived at LOFT’s Bradford House, she has become calmer and better able to handle the stress in her life. “The social workers are here to help us. I have learned problem solving and coping skills. I’m very outgoing and I like to help people. I volunteer in the kitchen and in the administrative office. And now I have a special person in my life. As soon as I saw him, I knew I wanted him to be my boyfriend. We go for walks and have coffee together.” Kathy can’t say enough about Bradford House. “It’s a beautiful place and everybody here is my friend. Carolyn (Donaldson – Bradford House Program Director) is my best friend!” I asked Kathy to tell me what gives her hope. She replied that since he has lived at Bradford House, “I have learned how to trust. When you have kind of challenges I have had in my life, it is very hard to trust people. But I know that I can do what I can do to help other people. And that makes me happy. I love music, especially Country and Western and Pop. Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help. I’ll do anything that will help other people.”

Colin – LOFT Community Services

Colin - Wilkinson Supportive Housing LOFTWhen I asked Colin what difference Wilkinson Housing and Support Services makes to him, he didn’t hesitate for a moment. “It makes a huge difference because I have support. I was an only child and I relied on my parents, too much, I guess. My father was my best friend and we did everything together. I had a good job that I loved, working with a company that sold sports memorabilia. I was married and my wife’s extended family was very important to me. Her sister had three kids, the youngest was our ring bearer when we got married. He asked me during the ceremony, ‘when can I start calling you Uncle Colin?’ Continue reading “Colin – LOFT Community Services”

Joan and Bobby – David Busby Centre

David Busby - Joan and Bobby vertical (596x800)Joan Rose and her husband, Bobby, can’t say enough about the David Busby Centre. “They helped us find housing and they are always very kind to us,” says Rose. “I like to help out by folding clothes that are donated, and helping to clean up outside. It saves money for the town. Bobby is also proud of being associated with the Busby Centre and he wants the community to know that the centre is a good neighbour. Every day when he arrives at the centre, Bobby grabs his broom. “I keep the sidewalks clean.” Helping others comes naturally to Joan and Bobby. Joan has fond memories of her grandfather. “He was Native and he always helped homeless people. Every time I see a homeless person, I think of him.”

Patricia – LOFT Bradford House

Patricia – LOFT Community Services“At age 17 I had my first psychotic break. I went ten years being schizophrenic and having psychotic breaks and was only diagnosed at 27. At age 39, they were looking for an institution to put me away for life because I was very disturbed and very sick and there was no way of reaching me. I was involved with a program at the Canadian Mental Health Association in Aurora, and one day people came from LOFT to tell us about their new housing program. I just asked and asked and asked, and I must have driven them crazy! I said ‘I’ve found my place!’ I just knew it was the right place for me. Continue reading “Patricia – LOFT Bradford House”

Sam – AURA

AURA - Sam and his friendsSam arrived in Canada during a blinding snowstorm just before Christmas, 2013. He was greeted by members of his parish sponsorship team who quickly arranged for Sam to trade in his lightweight hoodie and running shoes – the clothes he had on his back when he left his homeland of Eritrea as a refugee – for a warm parka, mitts and boots. His sponsorship was facilitated with the help of AURA – the Anglican United Refugee Alliance. AURA staff were enormously helpful to the parish welcoming committee in submitting their application to become refugee sponsors, planning for Sam’s arrival, and addressing concerns that came up after his arrival in Canada. Continue reading “Sam – AURA”