Published: October 11, 2011 7:00 AM
Updated: October 11, 2011 7:31 AM
Oct. 10-16 is National Homelessness Awareness Week.. The following have been contributed by the Ksan House Society.
“I HAVE an alcohol and drug problem and fell behind on rent by two and a half months. I got kicked out of my place because I spent money I made as a taxi driver on alcohol and drugs.
“I entered the shelter on July 21, 2011. I had to quit my job as a taxi driver on advice from family doctor and look for another job. EI approved my claim for regular EI benefits at $244 per week.
“While staying at the shelter I go to see (the) A/D counselor once per week. I attend AA meetings once or twice per day and go to NA Saturday night. I have a sponsor who is 5 years clean and sober who is helping me work on the 12 Steps of AA and he is helping me manage my money.
“I found a flagging job and I have worked 70 hours in two weeks. I have saved almost enough money to move out and get a new place to live.
“The staff at the Terrace Emergency Shelter are wonderful and very helpful, the food is excellent. I am presently looking for a new place to live with the (help) of my sponsor and the shelter.”
“IN the year 1994 I started having problems in a relationship and would come to the shelter when things got too bad. They were always willing to feed me and house me.
“In 2000 I separated and fell into depression [and started using] drugs. It helped to kill the pain I [had] refused to deal with over the past ten years. [The shelter has] always helped me when I needed it the most. It kept me from death.
“They always reminded me that I was worth a lot more and reminded me of how I was when I first came through the door, and told me I must deal with the past and let it go.
“And that [is] why, after ten years of my bulls***, I’m clean and sober and heading in a positive direction. I had work [in] one job for the past year and now ready for growth. I’m dealing with medical stuff [and] they have welcomed me back. They are one of the most important parts that have helped to bring me back to life. And for that I can never repay [them[.
“But my heart and thoughts are with them. They are like family that never stopped caring. “Thank you. Thank you.”
“COMING from a place in my life where life can just fall down everywhere around you and having no place to go, I have found my way to the Terrace Emergency Shelter. I have been couch surfing for a few years due to family maintenance. But couch surfing can only take you so far.
“I love my children and I would do anything for them. Sacrificing what I have for them is just one of my duties as a father. However sometimes life throws you situations that are just beyond [your] control. Because a very tough life can weigh down one’s morale, I found myself falling into a state of depression. I just couldn’t find the strength to do normal day-to-day tasks, having to fake a smile on a daily basis. My taxes fell behind more than a few years. I had moved so many times.”
“I found myself with nowhere to turn, and then I decided to swallow my pride and check into the Terrace Emergency Shelter. I didn’t know what to expect, as I had never had to accept this kind of help.
“For my morale it was the best thing I have done in a long time. The people who run the shelter are kind-hearted people. [They are] willing to help you back on your feet, show you that when you are [at] your lowest and you feel like there is nowhere to turn, that there is help available.
“The general feeling around the shelter is calm and relaxing. The staff members are cheerful and outgoing, the building in general is new and just a wonderful place to find yourself if you ever needs a place to feel accepted and not judged. As far as my morale goes, I can stand back up again and work towards getting my life back on track. I would like to thank the employees.”
The guy from school
“MY years most recent have flew by. I say my prayers every day and I find it makes the day less stressful. A lot of characters in BC – I made a lot of friends along the way.
“Progress has also been made with my personal growth. Getting from place to place has had a toll on my mental health. A day for rest is needed after a long bus ride. It is better to find meetings in the city rather than small towns. I get to see my family from time to time, and it is a relief.
“The less I worry about past mistakes the better I feel. When I get some work, it is a great stress relief.
“My days this year look like this for the most part: up at 5 a.m., sometimes later, go have coffee and a cigarette. Make my way to a meeting or watch some of the news. Go to school or do some studies at my place, have something to eat around noon. Then for part of the day I listen to music and sometimes talk on the phone. Sometimes in the evening I go crash and sleep to the next day.
“It’s nice to live in a country so beautiful and great. When I can afford to, I will travel to other places and see the world. My stay in the Shelter, Ksan, is a positive experience. I have made a lot of new friends and I think Ksan is the best shelter I have stayed in. My stay here has been good.”