everyone deserves home

Recovering and putting down roots

May 21, 2024

You can hear the hard-won confidence in Jody’s voice.

She’s talking about the first time she stepped inside her new home at 210 Gorge Road, a Cool Aid building with both supportive
and affordable apartments.

“I felt super-excited to be in a clean, shiny home in such a beautiful neighbourhood. My self-worth was back and I was thrilled to see a full kitchen where I could cook. Most importantly, I knew I’d be able to continue my recovery in a safe place,” she says.

A few years ago, Jody was a university student, living in her own apartment. “Then, I met a boy and we got into addictions,” she remembers. “I got evicted and ended up on the streets for three years. I suffered from psychosis caused by the drugs and was admitted to the hospital under the Mental Health Act.”

After the hospital, Jody entered a drug rehabilitation program. Once stabilized, she moved into an apartment, but the building was soon put up for sale.

“I was being supported by a crisis management team and they helped me apply to live at Gorge Road. It’s been absolutely life-changing.”

Jody credits her progress to the environment of the building and its staff. In the quiet building, she has “lots of good periods of sleep” and doesn’t worry about anyone stealing her belongings. “I lost everything when I was evicted and then homeless,” she says.

The staff at Gorge Road add to Jody’s sense of security. “There’s always someone at the front desk to say ‘good morning.’ And if I’m struggling through a bad day, I can have a safe solution-based conversation with an outreach worker. There’s also donated food, household items, and clothing if I need them.

Dustin Leavitt, Manager at 210 Gorge Road, points out that community support is key to helping residents get their lives back on track. “Donations help provide everything from teaching household skills to ensuring one-to-one support and keeping the building safe.”

Mixed housing, with both supportive and affordable units, is a very successful model that will be expanded at the new Crosstown development opening later this year. “We’re delighted to be creating real homes in flourishing communities,” Dustin adds.

With the support she’s received, Jody is flourishing too. She says “I’m putting down roots and nesting.” She’s applying for jobs and plans to take a course in addiction and mental health counselling.

“I feel really empowered. Cool Aid met me where I was and I’ve come a long way. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who supports them”, Jody says with a big smile.

Thank you for providing new homes and new-found hope. Together, we’re changing lives.