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Client Journeys

The YWCA has been operating in Niagara for more than 90 years, and the lives we have impacted are too many to count. During the more recent years of our work, we have made a point of encouraging those clients, who are happy to talk about their progress, to share their stories of success with us. We share these stories with you to show you that there is always hope, and we share them with you to thank each and every one of you who chooses to support our work. We could not do what we do without the support of our donors, volunteers, community partners and advocates.

Thank you kindly to all of our clients, who agreed to sharing their journeys with you.

YW FACES

Meet Beverley

When Beverley came to us eight years ago she was scared, lonely and unsure of what to expect. A friend had suggested she go to a shelter when she and her two kids, 9 and 11, had to leave BEVan unsafe home environment, but a shelter was the last place she wanted to go. “I just imagined a shelter like you see on TV- a big room, full of mattresses on the floor, where you have to cling to your belongings so they don’t get stolen. I didn’t want to go. But I had no choice. It was either go to a shelter or go back to him.” And so she took the first step and walked through the doors of the YW. What Beverley found inside the YW “shelter” was a far cry from what she had imagined. “I was given my own room. I was treated with dignity and was seen as a person. The staff listened and showed me respect.” Beverley was astonished.

Click here to read Beverly's story

Quickly Beverley felt safe and through the YW’s Life Skills programming was given the tools she needed to get her life back in order. Through the help of the YW, she was able to find work as a photographer for a local event and started to feel like herself again. After two months of staying at the YW, Beverley was put on the priority list for Affordable Housing but was told she had to wait another three months. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was sure I had overstayed my welcome and was going to be kicked out.” Instead Beverley was welcomed to stay another three months at the YW until she got a place of her own.

On July 1st, Beverley was handed the keys to her new apartment. “For the first time, I didn’t have to rely on anyone else. I had my independence back.”

Today, Beverley is an active member of the community as one of the photographers for snapd St. Catharines and snapd Niagara Falls. Looking back, the YW represents more than a shelter to Beverley, the YW represents hope.

Meet Beth

Click here to read Beth's story

Strength comes in all shapes and sizes. In this case, a petite, shy and soft spoken Mother of four named Beth. Growing up in Grimsby, Beth, a Personal Support Worker, always dreamed of one day becoming a nurse. But, sometimes life gets in the way; and Beth found herself stuck in an abusive relationship with four children, and a pile of student debt to top it off. Inner strength helped her to leave; but finding – and keeping – housing for a family of five in Grimsby is not easy. Grimsby has the highest costs of living in the Niagara Region, and soon enough, Beth $1400 rent cheques were falling further and further behind. She found herself faced with yet another hurdle to climb: eviction.

Now unemployed – unable to find work because daycare options were at odds with her PSW working hours – coupled with a diabetes diagnosis and a sick daughter, Beth had 60 days to find a home she could afford. Moving into a shelter would mean taking her children away from their schools, and as a single mother, her only support systems – including her own mother – were in all Grimsby. Thankfully, Beth’s Mother discovered WNAH YWCA’s Off Site Transitional Housing program, where Beth was introduced to Cheryl, her support worker. Cheryl was always there to listen and offer gentle support.

Finally with an affordable place to call home and Cheryl’s support, Beth was able to start to take control of her life. She signed up for not one, but three budgeting workshops to work on her student debt. Another to teach her to make weekly meal plans. For the kids, there was the community garden where they each planted their own vegetable. All summer long they tended their garden and watched the veggies grow.

At the end of the year, they picked what they had and made a big salad as a reward. Beth was so proud when her youngest daughter remarked that they had “made this salad out of nothing”.

Today, Beth feels like herself again. She has gone back to school, and is now eligible to apply to a nursing program. She has a steady job, can afford a baby sitter so that she can go out with her friends, and even recently got engaged! Every day she teaches her children the lessons she has learned throughout her time in the Off Site Transitional Housing Program. One day a week, she draws one of her children’s names from a hat. Their treat? To pick what they want for supper and learn what it cost and how it’s made. They learn that ice cream is a treat when there’s room in the budget, and that ribs, while delicious, are just simply too expensive to make.

Before coming to WNAH YWCA Beth felt like all she was, was a Mother. Today, “I feel self-sufficient and independent, I feel like Beth”. 

Meet Karen

Click here to read Karen's story

Karen never imagined she would find herself homeless. She was intelligent, educated, and planning a family with a man she loved. Her life was full of promise. Unfortunately, life has a way of twisting our clear paths into something more akin to a jungle. Her education didn’t ensure a job, her relationship had become unhealthy, and her life as a single mom now lay before her full of challenges.

Having relocated to Ontario with her ex with the hope of building a family, Karen was without resources or support. She struggled. Each day she looked at her daughter hoping to build a life full of love and stability for her, but found herself becoming more and more lost. The day Karen came to the YWCA was the day she admitted she couldn’t do it on her own. It was also the day she found an advocate for her success.

Karen entered the Off Site Transitional Housing Program, one that allows clients to live independently in an apartment building under the YWCA’s lease, while still receiving support from a social worker. After a year under the YW’s lease, the client is then able to obtain the lease themselves and continue living self-sufficiently.

Being an offsite client, Karen was given the time she needed to get her feet back under her. She set goals, learned new skills, and became stronger one day at a time. Her social worker offered resources to empower her and a shoulder to lean on while she found herself -as a parent and a woman.

She flourished.

Karen is now moving on to her future. She is returning to school, building a healthier parenting partnership with her ex and, most importantly, building that life of love and stability for her daughter.

Meet Heather

Click here to read Heather's story

In My Own Words

If I had to choose one word to describe myself, it would be relentless. I have fought so hard to rebuild my life.  While I have overcome common challenges we all face; my truly life-altering experience was being kidnapped in my mid 20’s. It was and still is a nightmare that shook me to my very core and sent me into a downward spiral.

I yearned to feel normal again, but to cope; I turned to drugs, alcohol, and what I now recognize as abusive relationships. I felt like I was stuck in the middle of a cyclone. A cyclone that took me eight years to find my way out of. In 2016 I reclaimed my life. I was hopeful that the next chapter in my life was going to be one of change.

I got clean and started down the path of what I deserved… a good life!

Living paycheque to paycheque, as many of us do, I was worried about finding myself homeless at any given minute. Unable to afford my own place, I had to figure out something quickly. After looking everywhere, without success, I walked through the front doors of the Yshelter. I was welcomed with a warm smile. I met with a staff member, filled out paper work, and by the end of the meeting my fear had faded and I had learned so much. I never felt like number or a story-just me- Heather. The YW has programs on different tiers. The program that was suitable for me is called Offsite Housing; structure paired with independence.

When I entered the YWCA off-site program in February of 2017, I was introduced to my advocate, Lisa. We always met once a month, but she was always just a text or phone call away. I swear you could ask her anything about services in the Niagara Region and she had the answerNo matter how rough her day was she always had a smile. The program was for a year, which meant while living alone I could focus on my growth. After that year I had the opportunity to take over the lease.

Initially, living alone was hard for me. Some of my old fears resurfaced, but as time passed it got better. Lisa was there every step of the way. I have so much more than a roof over my head now; I have people who really believe in me. Here I sit today, living on my own. I have my very own nest to go with my new wings; all thanks to the YWCA.

There are a lot of communities that do not have programs available like this. I am truly grateful that ours does. It’s life changing. Not every experience that starts off negative ends that way.

This experience was a blessing in disguise!

Meet Ellie

Click here to read Ellie's story

When Ellie and her four children left the Sudan to seek refuge in Canada, they had to leave everything behind – their home, their family, their culture. By the time they came to our Niagara Falls Emergency Shelter, they had already given up hope. Unable to accommodate Ellie and her family in Niagara Falls, we found room for them in our YW Family Shelter in St. Catharines. Ellie was finally able to give her children a place to sleep at night again. suda-MMAP-md

Our advocates worked with her for two months, as she overcame her cultural obstacles. Ellie could neither speak nor read English and she had religious beliefs and food needs that needed to be attended to. We were able to set her up with a translator through our community partners but a new challenge arose: the translator – a man of Sudanese culture – felt that there were instructions that didn’t need to be translated to her because she is a woman. At times, we had to use her 10 year old son as a translator to ensure that all of the information was relayed to her.

Ellie is a strong and brave woman, and with the support of our dedicated advocates, she was finally able to connect with the community groups and service providers she needed, such as food and furniture banks. Today, she has a beautiful three-bedroom apartment that she is proud to call her own.

Meet Jamie

Click here to watch Jamie's story

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Meet Margaret

Click here to read Margaret's story

Every once in a while our shelter is graced with a woman who leaves her special mark on those who are fortunate to know her. Such was the experience of Case Manager Sami Jo with her client Margaret. Margaret was the victim of an alcoholic and abusive husband who had turned to alcoholism to cope with the pain of her abuse. She had the strength to leave her husband and check herself in to a rehab program, but suffered extreme anxiety for having no safe place to call home.

blue-morpho-butterfly4Enter Sami-Jo, and the YWCA’s on-site shelter program. Relieved to have “home” covered, Margaret’s recovery improved. The year showed Margaret’s fortitude through her journey to independence. She met every challenge with a level chin, and the attitude to “forgive yourself, be patient in your healing, and appreciate the help that is offered. Know that you’re worth a new beginning…” Margaret’s one year stay in the on-site program is nearing an end. She looks forward to her independence, and her life as a new Grandma. Sami-Jo’s hope for Margaret is for her to continue on her journey as she always has, “to live physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy, engulfed within the love of her supportive family”. Click HERE to read Margaret’s full story!

Meet Natalie and Jaime

Click here to read Natalie and Jaime's story

It was November 30th. I remember thinking “How could this be happening to us, and just before Christmas?” It was too much to bear. You always think that bad things only happen to other people…

We were just your average family; with a loving husband, four beautiful children, and a good job, homelessness was far from our minds. There’s no one way a family ends up homeless, and it’s never simple.

Our story started when we discovered that my youngest son, Jack had a severe physical disability. I started working part time to be home to care for him. Then one day Jaime lost his job at the steel company. That was really hard for us. Before long we were behind on our car payments, the bills started to pile up, and we couldn’t afford to pay our utilities, let alone our rent.

That night in November is seared in my mind, the night the landlord told us we had to leaveWe had nowhere to go. We packed up what little we had, put our furniture in storage and left. Christmas had always been our favourite time of the year – the lights, the smells, the carols. But leaving home last Christmas left me feeling sad and lost. Seeing happy people out enjoying the holidays… that time was the lowest in my life.

That’s where you, and the YW came in. Did you know there are only 4 Emergency Family shelter units in all of Niagara? If we weren’t able to move into one of them, we might have had to split apart. But because of the YW, we were able to stay together over the holidays – that was so important to us. I didn’t want my children to know that we were homeless, or feel different from other kids. I think throughout everything, the hardest part was not being able to give my children the Christmas we always used to have.

We were at the shelter for about 6 months. That’s how long it took us to find a house we could afford. Looking for affordable housing is like a full time job, but our advocate, Amanda was there for us for every step of the way. She helped us find resources that we didn’t know were available, like employment workshops for Jaime and other programming that helped us on individual goals and life skills. She worked with each of us – our children too – on our individual issues. And on Christmas morning, our kids woke up with a gift to open. Amanda told me that was from donors like you!

Today, Jaime is working full time. I’ve started a home daycare so I can care for Jack and save for any more bumps that may come along the way. The YW provided a safe place for us and our children to sleep at night, and with Amanda’s help we found a place of our own.  Our time at the shelter wasn’t easy, but gave us what we needed – an opportunity to overcome our individual struggles, and to grow as a family because of it.

Last Christmas the YW gave the greatest gift of all… the YW gave us HOPE.

Meet Kim

Click here to read Kim's story

She has old eyes. That’s the first thing that struck me when I first met Kim. Her life’s path is discernible in the shadows that are always there, even when she’s smiling. When Kim first came to the YW shelter she had already experienced more in her life than anyone should. Kim was a victim of human trafficking, which led to a life in the sex trade. She explains that she didn’t feel she had anything other than her body to offer, having been told just that. Kim fell into a cycle too many women have found themselves in when the world seems to have given up on them.

She traded her body for the drugs that helped her get through the life she was living; a life full of physically and mentally abusive partners, and exhaustion. When Kim hit her bottom, she came to the doors of the YW, desperate for somebody to help her break out of the cycle she found herself in. With the support from our Women’s Advocates, Kim was able to leave her addictions and the survival sex trade work behind. She moved into one of our Off Site Transitional Housing units and now lives in a Niagara Regional Housing unit that she calls home.

“I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t found you guys,” she admits, quietly. She is embarrassed about her past, but I assure her she shouldn’t be. The woman who stands before me today is strong. She is capable. She has overcome odds others have found insurmountable. She has a full time job as a Social Worker and the days of not knowing where to sleep at night are long gone. Kim is excited about her life’s path now and the direction she is heading. After fighting her demons, she wants to help other women battle theirs, and be the beacon that the YW was for her.

Meet Dede

Click here to read Dede's story

She keeps busy, doesn’t look up much. Her hands are cleaning up the dishes, her feet carry her back and forth between the big kitchen counter and the sink. I can only see it when she pauses to look at me – a sparkle in her eye. It is barely noticable, but it is there. Her eyes have seen a lot, but somehow Dede managed to protect her deepest core through it all.

“We used to rent out a loft up in Quebec. My husband, my two daughters and I lived up there, and I prepared meals for the guests; that was all of my cooking experience until I came here,” explains Dede, smiling more for my sake, to make it better, to prepare me for the second part of her story. Dawn, or Dede as most people call her,  is a relief cook at the YWCA Niagara Region, but she started her journey with us as a guest in our Emergency Shelter. “It all happened within one month,” she related as her face darkened suddenly. “My husband left me, my father died, my step-father died… I lost everyting.” The loss became too much to bear, and Dede struggled with depression. Still, she fought through it and moved back to Ontario. She found employment, even became a store manager before life, once again, wasn’t on her side. A victim of the oh-so-familiar “restructuring”, Dede lost her job and it only took a few missed pay cheques before she was unable to cover her bills. It was then that Dede came to the doors of the YW Emergency Shelter, not knowing where else to turn.

“It was scary for me when I first came here”

Five year later, Dede will never forget that day. Since then, Dede’s life has taken a turn for the better. After a short stay in the Emergency Shelter, Dede moved to an On Site Transitional Housing unit and started volunteering in the shelter kitchen: “I wanted to give back and make the women feel welcome.” With the support of our Women’s Advocates, Dede managed to find an affordable apartment that she shares with a friend who she met at the YW. Even after their time at the YW, both of them chose to continue volunteering. “It was scary for me when I first came here,” she admits. “I was worried that someone might steal from me or harm me. I didn’t know what to expect. But then I felt so welcomed. I felt loved. And I want to help the women who come here have the same positive experience.” The Niagara Falls Kitchen Manager Cheryl could not be more grateful for her support: “Dede is a go-getter. She got her food handling certificate to be able to help out; I can rely on her – it’s great!” When the YW was looking for a new relief cook, Cheryl encouraged Dede to apply. The rest is history.

Dede (left) and Cheryl preparing lunch for the guests at our Niagara Falls Shelter
Dede (left) and Cheryl preparing lunch for the guests at our Niagara Falls Shelter

Today, Dede has become an integral part of the YW kitchen staff – whenever someone is sick or on vacation, Dede can always be counted on. Whenever Cheryl is able, she picks Dede up on her way to work. On the other days, Dede gets up early to catch the bus.

Dede’s story could be mine, and it could be yours. It is a story of life taking an unexpected turn or two – events happened that she could not possibly have been prepared for. Thanks to her courage and the support and friendship she encountered at the YW, she stands on her own two feet today.

Meet Heather & Chad

Click here to read Heather and Chad's story

When asked about their dreams for the future, tears come to Heather’s eyes. “Our dream is to have our own home, to have stability. When you have a home, it takes away so much other stress. It would mean everything.” 

“The programs offered by the YWCA West Niagara Affordable Housing program have taught me a lot about myself,” says Heather as she smiles at Cheryl, one of our Transitional Support Workers. They first met about three years ago, and Cheryl has been there for Heather and her family every step of the way, ever since.

When you have a home, it takes away so much other stress. It would mean everything.

At the time Heather, her husband Chad and their three beautiful children came to the YWCA’s West Niagara Affordable Housing program (formerly GAHP) they were living in a mobile home which was less than ideal. They had come to the realization that living in a mobile home was not a long term solution. They also had to admit that given the high rents in Niagara, they were not going to be able to do it on their own. “So I met with Cheryl, we got together for interviews and the application process and only a short time later, we moved into our house”, explains Heather.

Their home is a beautifully gahp family_amlldecorated little townhouse in Grimsby. Both Heather and Chad work hard and are fortunate enough to have reliable jobs and yet, at the end of the month, there is just not enough money left to pay for the rent. Still, the family is always looking
for ways to get even better at living with what they have. During their three years in the program, they have taken part in almost every skills development workshop offered by the YWCA WNAH, such as “cooking on a budget”, “budget boot camp” and “skills of success.” To help their family make their dream of house ownership come true, their support worker helped them to set up a meeting with their bank. Together, they were able to set specific goals and to create a plan outlining how they can succeed in reaching them.

“This family’s story is inspirational,” says Cheryl, “they are always sticking together. To see them flourish when they were so broken when they first came to us… it’s amazing.”

A few years back, the family lost everything they owned to a house fire. Chad explains that since then, they appreciate everything, even a toothbrush, and Heather adds: “It taught us to take things one day at a time and to enjoy every single day and to be grateful for our health.” They have so much more to be grateful for now, as they have achieved their goal of home ownership and they are moving into their own home this year.

Meet Jane

Click here to read Jane's story

All Jane ever wanted was to offer her two children the best life she could.

When she decided to return to school for a full time program in social services, the bills quickly started piling up and she fell behind in her rent payments. Her friends tried to support her but she knew that couch surfing was not going to be a long-term-solution for her and her children.It took all she had in her to come to the doors of the YW Emergency Shelter but she knew she wasn’t going to be able to get back on her feet without support.

Jane stayed in the Emergency Shelter for the remainder of her program, which allowed her to finish her studies without the daily worry of potentially losing her home. Once she was ready, she moved into one of our Off Site Transitional Housing units. She finally had a place to call home again but her challenge was now trying to find a job. Her support worker was amazed by Jane’s perseverance and determination in her job search – she tirelessly sent out applications and was not going to stop until she would find employment.

When, after more than a year, Jane was finally offered full time employment, a new chapter of her life began: she was able to take over the lease for her apartment and thanks to her reliable income, she now does not depend on social assistance anymore and is back on her own two feet.

Meet Lily

Click here to read Lily's story

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,Lily 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.

Meet Tammy

Click here to read Tammy's story

“I’m 43 years old. I want life,” she pauses before adding, “I choose life.”

Tammy used to be angry – mad at the world, at life, at God. She wanted someone to blame: blame them for all of the abuse she has suffered, someone to blame for what the drugs have done to her. “You start using because it is a quick fix. It’s how I coped.” But every time the drugs wore off, the pain returned. Desperate, scared and alone, Tammy turned to the Women’s Addiction Recovery Mediation (WARM) program in Fort Erie. WARM is a safe place for women who are struggling with addiction to join a group setting where they can share their stories, talk and heal. For Tammy, WARM was different from the other programs she had tried because it was for women only. After having struggled with abusive relationships, a setting where men were part of the group caused her anxiety. “And WARM is different from talking to a counsellor,” she explains. “The other women have been through the same thing; they get it. It is such a comfortable environment because we can trust each other.”

“WARM and the YW saved me.”

Tammy smiles and beams when she speaks about how WARM has changed her life, but the journey was not always easy. “In January, I tried to take my life.” The words linger in the room as the pain rushes over her face, ever so briefly, before she adds, “But WARM and the YW saved me.” To maximize resources, the YW has taken on WARM as part of the Skills Development department. When Tammy reached out to Kara Muscat, the YW’s WARM Worker, she supported Tammy’s drive to break out of her downward spiral. Kara advocated for Tammy’s choice to move to the YW’s Emergency Shelter in Niagara Falls and become engaged in the Skills Development Program which Tammy says has turned her life around.tammy 1 “I now live in an On Site Transitional Housing unit, I am a peer mentor for WARM, I volunteer in the community. I love the fact that I can give back. And every time I talk about my story, it loses its power over me.” Tammy 3knows that it will take her a long time to heal, but for the first time in her life, she believes that she can. It is the safety of the shelter and the incredible support from Kara and the Women’s Advocates that have helped her get her life back. “Not just that, they gave me my family back – my world!” Her big, genuine smile is contagious when she talks about her daughter, who, after years of silence, has now started talking to her again. “She tells me that she loves me and I see my grandkids all the time!”

The life-changing work of WARM would not be possible without the Niagara Community Foundation (NCF): “Through our community grants program, we are pleased to support the WARM program. We thank the YWCA and wish them continued success in improving the lives of those in our community,” says Bryan Rose, Executive Director at the NCF.
As far as the future goes, Tammy has a plan. “I will continue to work on myself, return to college to get my Personal Support Worker degree and move to an Off Site Transitional Housing unit.”

“I’m 43 years old. I want life – I choose life.”

Meet Hannah

Click here to read Hannah's story

Too often as people age, they can begin to slip through the cracks of society. Hannah first came to the YWCA through our Emergency Shelter in 2010 when, as a senior, she found herself without a support system, facing addiction challenges and not knowing where to turn for help.

Slowly, with the help of her advocate, Hannah worked towards redefining who she was. She connected with a physician, established her sobriety, and transitioned into our Off Site Transitional Housing program. With people around her who cared, she flourished, and her confidence returned. She engaged in the Senior Services offered, and made new friends.

Rediscovering her own self-worth has been a journey Hannah now looks back on with pride, as she readies herself to move into a long-term seniors building. She is now optimistic about her future,  and grateful for the support system she finally found.

Meet Yasmine

Click here to read Yasmine's story

Yasmine’s journey with the YW started in December 2015. At the time, she was staying with her mother. While she was grateful for the shelter, her relationship with her mother had never been the best and living with her was becoming more and more challenging every day. Yasmine, who was 19 years old at the time, had lived with her father in Toronto before coming to Niagara. When he became physically abusive, her mother was the only person she could turn to – most of her family still lives in Dubai, Yasmine’s country of origin.

Homeless

It was a cold December day when Lisa, the YW’s Off Site Transitional Support Worker, got the call from the young woman, who had been asked by her mother to leave her apartment and who was now all alone in a region where she had virtually no social network and no support. Yasmine showed great interest in the program that would offer her the support she needed until she was back on her own two feet.sprout-1147803_1920

Yasmine was added to the waiting list and Lisa made sure that she could stay in the YW’s Emergency Shelter until a unit was going to be available to her. Her enthusiasm and determination to get herself out of her desperate situation were unwavering. With the help of YW staff members, Yasmine applied for Ontario Works and was approved only a week later – she now had an income.

Off Site Transitional Housing

On February 1st, Yasmine was able to move into her own Off Site Transitional Housing unit but the young woman did not stop there: she had applied for school and started a course in English as a second language (ESL) only a week later. Lisa and Yasmine discussed her goals together and getting a higher education was quickly identified as her main goal. Well aware of the barriers she was going to have to face, most of them financial, Yasmine had faith that she would eventually get the university degree she was working towards. “Now that I have a place to call home, food and an income, I can do anything I put my mind to,” she explained to Lisa, beaming.

A New Beginning

What followed came as an incredible, wonderful surprise to all of us at the YW: only a few months later, Yasmine had not only successfully completed her ESL-course but she had been accepted into an International Business and Marketing Program at a university in Denmark. With the financial support by her family in Dubai, Yasmine was going to be able to make it through the first couple of months in Denmark and she was determined to find employment as soon as she got there and we have no doubt that she went and did exactly that.

The day Yasmine was leaving for the airport, she stopped by one last time to thank Lisa and the YW for everything. “I can hardly believe the strides I have been able to make in only a few months. I have never experienced such amazing support. Your team at the YW made me believe that only the sky is the limit.”

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Meet Cynthia

Click here to read Cynthia's story

Cynthia became a participant of the YWCA Off-Site Transitional Housing Program in September 2016. Prior to coming into the program, Cynthia was evicted from the house she had spent the last 10 years in because the landlord needed it for another family.  This was devastating for Cynthia. She was unable to find work because of ongoing health issues, and she had very few supports in her life, both socially and emotionally. She depended on the Ontario Works Program for assistance.

With support came hope for Cynthia. From the moment she found a new home through the Transitional Housing Program at the YWCA Niagara Region, she started making tremendous strides towards the goals set for her by her Transitional Support Worker. With the continuous support of the YW and her new home, Cynthia could finally settle, address her health issues and find a secure source of income.  Cynthia also started attending budgeting classes with our skills development workers and soon after she started receiving contracts that would allow her to work more frequently.

In June 2018, Cynthia successfully completed the YWCA Off-Site Transitional Housing program and was able to assume the lease with her landlord! Cynthia’s success makes us so proud and reminds us why we do what we do.

Did you stay with us and have a great experience?

Share your story with us! Please email: agood@ywcaniagararegion.ca