“Cameron” is in his late fifties and has lived in lived in Burnaby for many years. His longstanding issue with alcohol has led to significant health and relational problems. Although he is pleasant to be around most of the time, he can be quite difficult when intoxicated. This made it hard for him to maintain housing. After being homeless for many years, he was recently housed. He has been sober for two months now and is beginning to believe that he deserves to be happy and live free of alcohol.
Like Cameron, “Lorraine” who is in her mid-forties has lived in Burnaby for many years. She too has struggled with a debilitating, longstanding addiction that has been a barrier to finding and maintaining a home. However, those who cared about her –both friends and support workers—never gave up on her. They helped her receive treatment and support. She has been drug-free for seven months and has begun putting her life back together. Finally, she is happy and tastes what it’s like to feel good about yourself.
Another long-time Burnaby resident “Frederick” became homeless for the first time in his life at the age of sixty-two. This man has no addiction issues or mental health problems; he simply had a “perfect storm” of catastrophes which caused him to be evicted from his home. After sleeping in his car for over a year, he was assisted to find housing and medical care. He has been housed now for just over a year and is slowly recovering his self-esteem.
For many years “Harold”, a long time Burnaby resident, slept near a public building for safety. However six years ago, the forty- year-old who struggles with alcoholism was successfully housed. The stability of remaining in the same home and neighbourhood long-term has helped him make better choices for himself.
“Daphne” is a single mother of three young children. She has lived in Burnaby most of her life and was doing well until she lost her job and her confidence. This hardworking woman was on the verge of homelessness when she received support and retraining. She found a job and has renewed faith in herself because she is able to support her family without fear of losing her home.