Susan’s Story – Supportive Housing in Nanaimo

I’ve never been homeless in my life ever. And I never thought I would be. Never. I was living in Chase River with my two sons. I was working full time at the fish plant and I had health problems because of my diabetes. I had to take sick leave at the fish plant and so we got evicted. Here comes tent city. Tent city is all set up and I went there and it didn’t really work that well. It was very dirty. Just lots of garbage everywhere. And even the rats were coming in the tents. I went to emergency because I was sick from being outside. I just couldn’t handle it. I was at my last day’s strength of survival. And that’s when I came here to the support of the ICCS and then BC Housing. This room is mine so I have my own space and it feels secure. Being in my own world and creating crafts and that, it grounds me. I learned a lot about how to do self care so that’s what I’m trying to do. I was wanting to look for work and this place has helped me very much because to do that I have to feel positive. I have to be healthy. And I wouldn’t be able to do that if I wasn’t here. I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I wouldn’t be able to do what I want to do. And here, people see good things and then they help you bring it out so you can blossom more and believe in yourself. The team here is great. Everybody cares about you. There’s a nurse and I’m just learning a lot of things my body is putting me through. I’ve never had that before. I never really knew that butterflies is my thing. It’s in everything. I even got a kit and you have to make the butterfly yourself. Right now in my life I’m a butterfly. I’m emerging. And a lot of people here are.

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