"We envision a community founded on equality and justice"
Stories of Impact
Home. Just four letters that shape our lives.
Anna (pseudonym) came to us after struggling with substance use for several years. She had lost custody of her 7-year-old daughter, but Anna wanted to turn her life around, she wanted to be a mother to her daughter again. So, she took the first steps in her life-changing journey; Anna went to a treatment centre and started her road to sobriety. But after treatment she had no place to go to continue her recovery with the support she needed to fully rebuild her life and bring her daughter home. This is where the EFry team stepped in!
Anna had only a backpack when she arrived at our door.
We wanted to give Anna a home; a home she could feel safe in, a home she could be proud of. She had started the important work to rebuild her life, and we wanted to support her to continue on her journey.
We were able to do just that. Anna needed a plan, to set goals that were hers to achieve, and we were there to support her in accomplishing her goals.
The first goal was to create a home for her daughter to be able to visit. She moved into one of our 2-bedroom units, and we started to gather furnishings together, all the items that are essential to making the space her home. Now she had her own space, a home that she designed, where she could start to welcome her daughter back into her life with more frequents visits.
The next goal was to find the right job. Anna wanted to give back and support others going through similar challenges she faced with substance use. So she volunteered at the treatment centre that helped her start her path to recovery. She worked hard and with her passion for this work she was quickly hired on as an employee.
With a job she loved she was now able to focus on her goal to own a car of her own. Her own car would mean greater independence and a physical reminder of how far she was able to come. Anna worked hard with the EFry team on budgeting skills that allowed her to make a plan to purchase a car. And she quickly did just that!
She was now on a path in which she could focus on her most important goal, to repair the relationship with her daughter. Determined to be the mother her daughter needed, she took parenting skill building classes. The hard work paid off, it took time but she was able to rebuild trust and regained custody of her daughter!
Anna has now been able to successfully move from our supportive housing into independent living. She has even been promoted to a supervisory position at the treatment centre. Anna has proven that you can change your life when you are given the stability of a home and the supports you need to rebuild your life.
I became homeless in Kamloops, 6 months pregnant, after moving here to try and get a fresh start for me and my baby. I had little to no support and was in desperate need of a home for me and the baby on the way. Feeling hopeless because I had nowhere to go, I ended up at the shelter but knew this was only a temporary solution.
I had heard about Elizabeth Fry and the Family Stepping Stones program in the past, got a referral through a nurse, and set up a meeting to try to get a spot in the program. I was grateful when a suite became available and I moved in.
Since then, I am so happy that I have that stability and the support that I needed. I have a nice apartment and have set up the nursery in preparation for my baby who is due any day. I now have a home where I feel safe and secure and am able to access services that I will need to be successful in the future. The other women in the building are like a community, and I even help to clean the building because I have pride in my home. The program is two years long and I feel that I will continue to get the support and help to get into school to become a counsellor and help women like me. This program is giving me the opportunity to be confident with my future. I think this program provides empowerment and motivation for women to have a better life. The only thing that would make it better is if there were more suites to help other women. I feel that, if I can do it, that others can do it too.
“The Elizabeth Fry Society has given me the opportunity to provide a stable and secure environment for my children. As a single mom, I struggle less economically and can provide better quality food for me and my children.”
“When I first moved in, I was pleasantly surprised to see a gift of household items to get a fresh start. I very much appreciated this help!”
“A couple of years ago I was pregnant, quite young and about to be homeless. I was not aware of all the programs and help available, Elizabeth Fry gave me a place to call home for my children and I feel safe and welcome. EFry has helped me take the steps to get where I need to be. Thank you!”
“Since I have been living in Efry housing I have been able to focus on my recovery and I have also secured employment. I am very grateful for my housing and if I had not secured it, I probably would not have had so much success. “
“Efry housing has given me many opportunities to live a better life because I can get a few extra things every few months, nothing big unless I wait for it but a few things I enjoy. “
“Because of Efry housing, I am able to attend school full-time to achieve a diploma in psychiatric nursing. If I did not live here, I would not be able to afford rent and go to school full-time. “
“My daughter, who is an only child is able to play with other children in the building. We have a community of parents helping each other out and the kids have friends nearby. “
“Going to school full-time is the most positive aspect for me and was only possible with the subsidized rent through Efry and BC Housing. “