Finding a place to call home
Alex says the confidence and independence she’s found living on her own has been life changing
“I never really had the greatest relationship with my parents and it kind of came to a head a couple of years ago where I just couldn’t live in the same house with them anymore. I just found it wasn’t good for my mental health and I wasn’t pursuing any goals in life.
About three years ago, someone I had been seeing as a support suggested linking me to this housing agency. The agency came into my life at a time of dire need. I was rock bottom and didn’t know where else to go. I figured I had nothing left to lose. I didn’t enjoy my life and decided I would do anything to change it, even though I hate change.
The support I have received has been the one constant in my life over the last few years. I have had to upset my life and start over but through every step, there was always someone beside me saying, ‘You’ve got this. We’re here to hold your hand but we’re not going to do it for you. If you fall, you fall. We will help you get up, but you have to learn how to do this.’
I’ve grown quite quickly. I was dragging my feet, for most of my life because I’ve always been afraid to get to the next stage and do the next thing. I’ve been too scared of change. And now, though change is still scary, I’m looking forward to it. I’m now wondering what else is out there and what’s next. And how do I get there faster.
Now I’ve found my dream job. Since I was 12 or 13, I’ve wanted to work in a school and now I’m working in my chosen field of developmental services as an educational assistant. I absolutely love it.
Independence and confidence are the perfect words to describe what I’ve gained. While living with my parents I didn’t have a lot of either. But I’ve been given the opportunity to learn. And getting the physical space from my parents helped regrow our relationship, which had been toxic.
I watched my sister go through years of homelessness and shelters and group homes when she was just a teenager. She’s 27 now and she’s doing so much better but she didn’t have the supports I have had. I didn’t have to be homeless.
I was the younger sister, so I could do absolutely nothing for her but now I can do something for someone else and let them see that there are supports out there. That’s my main goal in sharing my story. Everyone needs help sometimes.”