It’s always a pleasure to have the opportunity to work alongside young people who have done some serious hard work prior to finding their way to Transitioning to Independence Project (TTIP II). Angela is a good example of how dedication to change can become a reality.
Angela comes from a family with significant mental health and substance misuse obstacles. Many family members are homeless or have passed on due to substance misuse related illness.
Some would believe that it would be easy for Angela to accept her fate and follow the path that many of her family members have gone down, and for a few years she did. However, after birthing her daughter and experiencing the struggles associated with this lifestyle (homelessness, violence, and no stability) she made a change. Focused on being a healthy parent and providing for her daughter, Angela was housing-ready – her challenge was the cost of market housing in the Lower Mainland.
With the generous subsidy support of an additional $400.00, Angela secured safe market housing for her and her daughter. She was able to select a neighbourhood that she was comfortable with and began to establish roots. Her daughter began Kindergarten at a school of Angela’s choosing, with a feeling of security that she wouldn’t have to constantly change schools due to homelessness. Housing is a vital component for these youth in order to focus on planning for self sufficiency and not being system dependant.
Angela is currently completing her high school and planning for post secondary in the fall. She has participated in other community partner programs for employment preparation and is job-ready. As Angela’s time in TTIP II comes to an end, we have been able to (because of her stability and sobriety) connect her to more long-term housing support. This support will allow her to continue to focus on her future, without the constant fear of homelessness. While we celebrate her success it’s not taken for granted, we know through experience that any success must be continually supported we do this by encouraging ongoing community connectedness.