Tag Archives: Child Poverty

Families the YW Has Served

Part of my job is to listen. I listen to people who tell me their stories. I think it is important to occasionally share these stories so that we don’t see families who live in our shelter as statistics but instead as humans.

One family we helped consisted of a woman that had one young daughter still at home and was also raising two of her grandchildren. This woman had been in Ontario about 20 years and had only lived at two different residences. Her family lived in their last home for seven years. Her home had gone through a few different owners but the last owner wanted to live in the house so the woman was evicted. She had nowhere to go. She came to the YW Family shelter and actively searched for permanent housing on a daily basis. All she wanted was a home for her children, grandchildren, and herself. She does not enjoy moving and wanted something permanent. Her income is minimal but she was good with her money and had good credit. The applications she filled out where complicated for her and a little intimidating. With the help of the YW Family Shelter she had a temporary place to live with her grandchildren and children, and many supports were available to her and her family. Support was needed in filling out different applications for housing including NRH. After almost three months of searching and applying to different places, this family was accepted into the NRH program. This family now has permanent affordable housing. This family also knows they can utilize the YW outreach program when needed. When I last checked, this woman was attending school.

On another occasion, we had a single father raising his two children. They moved to St Catharines from out of province hoping to find his employment search would be more successful. This family had planned on staying with family and had been encourage too come to St Catharines, but after living with family things did not work out as planned and work was harder to find than expected.  This single father raising two children found himself and family exhausted and homeless. The YW Family Shelter took this family in, gave them their own space were they could again engage as a single family unit, as well as food and outside support.  The children re-entered school and the father searched for permanent housing, but had the comfort of knowing he had support and that he and his children were safe. This family also would require furniture as they left most belonging in their home province. After a short time this family did find permanent housing. They were referred to a furniture bank, and the father re-entered school to broaden his area in his search for employment. This family has made a positive adjustment to our city and is doing well.

A young man recently received custody of his very young son but had to relocate to make things easier for his son. This young man had to give up his job because of daycare situations and the new addition of caring for his son. He had nowhere to live while he got back on his feet. The YW Family shelter took this family in, providing a home, food and support; this gave them the time they needed to catch their breath. This young man was a great father and was so proud of his son. It didn’t take long for this father to find a job that suited his new family life and accommodated his daycare situation. This father found permanent housing for himself and his son and is enjoying his role as a single working father.