What would you do if, after enduring 16 years in an unhappy marriage, you discovered your husband was already married? For Lillian, it was the catalyst into a new life, but one fraught with its own hardships.
With only a part-time income as a bus driver to draw from, Lily moved from one temporary solution to the next, unable to afford a permanent address, but unwilling to return to the man she had called her husband. One of the ‘hidden homeless’, she stayed with willing friends until they were less willing.
Finally, after being asked to leave her latest refuge by a friend’s landlord, she found herself at the YWCA Niagara Region.
It wasn’t what she had expected. The staff didn’t look down on her, the women there were friendly. Each woman had her own story, but they had all somehow ended up there needing help, but not wanting to be judged for it; needing stability but never able to get ahead enough to reach it.
With her sought-after stability in hand, thanks to the YW, Lily flourished. Laziness had never been in her vocabulary, and she worked several jobs at once to improve her financial situation. While involving herself in the YW’s Life Skills Programs, she learned not only tangible skills such as how to budget, but also how to stand on her own, and how to live a life with confidence.
Lily is now a success story. She has a full-time position as a bus driver-a job she loves- friends, and a home to call her own. She has moved past the most difficult time in her life and gratefully shares her experience with the YW with others. She considers it a story of hope.