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I was so grateful when they said I could stay!

Date September 7, 2017 Author Inta Dukule Categories What's Up At FV | default-import-news


Rupa This is Rupa's Story! 

''In 2013, I was living in Toronto, had good friends, had earned a social work degree and found work.  I was employed by the University of Toronto and then an international development agency. A downturn meant that my agency closed. It was abrupt, unexpected and left me in trouble.''

“I lost my apartment, my income and my dignity. I spent weeks looking for work. Friends let me couch surf but that could not go on. I had an injury and an expired health card, and no hope. The health care centre referred me to a shelter. All I had left were two suitcases and a crushed spirit. I kept telling everyone I was okay but I was not.

“The first, few days in the shelter were frightening. I realized how far I had fallen. But, the shelter introduced me to a Fred Victor Housing worker who heard my story and said “I will help you, you will never be on the streets again, I promise. Within three days she had found a place for me at the Fred Victor Women’s Transition to Housing and she took me there, securing me a room, food and support.  I was so grateful when they told me I could stay there for a year and start fresh.”

“With counselling, the help of a case worker, and the friendship of other women who were staying there, I began to find my way back.  I began volunteering and soon recovered my spirit and purpose. A support worker introduced me to a senior manager at Employment and Training Services who told me how he came from the street and turned his life around with Fred Victor’s help. It was then that I knew I could do it, too.

“I was encouraged to apply for a one-year, paid social service traineeship, a training program at one of Fred Victor’s own service locations. I applied, was interviewed and said, “Please pick me!”  I started at the Concurrent Disorders Support Services in March, 2015. I learned to manage 44 partner organizations, client services and become knowledgeable in clinical issues. I loved working there and helping other people. 

“A new, permanent position opened up at Fred Victor, so I applied and got the job. With a permanent job, references and a bank account, I was able to put down first and last month’s rent on an apartment and furnish it with help from the furniture bank.

“Sometimes I see women in the drop-in and I think, oh my god, I was once there. The women trust me because they know I’ve been there. I know how hard the journey is and I tell others not to give up. You can find your way back. Come to Fred Victor for help!”

If you would like to help more people like Rupa, please donate today.


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