“There was nothing else I could have done for myself. I was at a point in my life where I needed to ask for help,” Christopher reflects.
Christopher and his son found themselves at Inn from the Cold last December, after a year of turmoil. He went from a high paying job, to working an apprenticeship, to being laid off in a very challenging economic climate in Alberta. Not only was Christopher struggling with the economy, he had recently gone through a divorce.
“My kid needed help, and I needed to stay in Calgary for that help,” recalls Chris. Although there were job opportunities elsewhere, Christopher’s son struggles with severe emotional trauma from early childhood and the support system that he needs is here in Calgary. “I wanted to keep the same schedule for him,” he states.
After applying for all types of jobs – everything from mopping floors to cleaning toilets, there was no steady employment in sight. Christopher said he “clawed [his] way to survival for seven months to keep food on the table, daycare bills paid, gas in the vehicle.” That was when he arrived at Inn from the Cold’s Family Emergency Shelter, “It was the one place in the city that father and child could go to if they had nowhere else.”
Finally, after spending some time at the Emergency Family Shelter, Christopher found a job and at the same time he and his son were able to move to Sundial – a program offered in partnership with the Calgary Drop-in & Rehab Centre that offers temporary housing staffed by 24/7 support workers.
Since finding steady employment, the family has moved into their own home – “If it wasn’t for Inn from the Cold, my kid wouldn’t have been showered every day, and at school, wouldn’t have been fed, I didn’t have the money to feed him anymore. Basically it’s a bleak outlook if this place wasn’t here,” says Christopher.