A Home and A Purpose

Leigh Anderson collapsed suddenly one day in 2016 and woke up in the hospital with the news that she had an infection that affected her heart and shoulder. She was not able to return to work at her job as a chef, and after 3-1/2 months in hospital she was unable to pay her rent and was at risk of homelessness. She was referred to Cool Aid to get help finding a new home.

Leigh, once a trained professional chef who worked many long hard hours in the demanding hospitality industry, never thought she could end up homeless. “Basically, I got out of the hospital and where was I going to go? I ended up at Mount Edwards and I’m very happy here,” says Leigh.

Now retired, she still keeps busy teaching the other tenants how to cook and organizing delicious, nutritious meals. “When you’re trained in a profession where you spend a great deal of time on your feet with a lot of heavy lifting, you can’t do it forever. I can do things [at Mount Edwards], because it’s a shorter period of time and I have enlisted a wonderful team… there are people here who work together, which I’m a full believer in. As a trained professional chef, I can show someone an example and it gets done!”

Mount Edwards, located on Vancouver Street, provides 98 supportive housing apartments for residents 55+ years of age. Renovations to the third floor will provide an additional 15 affordable apartments for residents aged 55 and up. Meals are provided for the residents every day and Cool Aid offers health support and life skills programming, including financial and budgeting education.

Leigh is incredibly proud of her apartment at Mount Edwards. She is well liked by tenants and staff alike, and we thoroughly enjoy having her as part of the Cool Aid family.