Finding home and hope

Melanie struggled to provide for her kids and find a safe place for them to live. Thanks to support, her family is on a brighter path forward.

Melanie smiles for a photo in her home

My last apartment was very small and rundown, but I couldn’t move out of it, because of my financial situation as a single mom. I was depressed. This affected my children, which made me even sadder. It was a dark time for us.

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My financial problems were overwhelming. They were all I thought about.

They became an incredible source of stress. I told myself that things weren’t so bad, but deep down, I was ashamed.

Eventually, I accepted my situation and asked for help. Although it was the right thing to do, reaching out for help was very difficult. A United Way supported program helped us move into a new subsidized apartment. The effect on my family was almost immediate. Hide it as much as you want: If Mom isn’t happy, the kids aren’t either.

In Calgary, over

100,000

people live without enough money for food, shelter, personal hygiene items, and other basic needs.

As of March 2020,

6 in 10

Albertans are less than $200 away from not being able to pay all their bills each month.

Once I felt better, I saw a change in my kids’ behaviour. They were much more joyful every day. I hadn’t even realized how much of an impact I had on them.

The move also reignited my passion for my former job in esthetics and massage therapy. I dreamt of opening my own salon, a dream that is coming true, thanks to the money I’m saving on rent and the support I get from the agency.

I want other single mothers going through the same thing to not worry about what other people think. You may be afraid of how others will judge you, or you may not think you’re good enough. You feel like a failure. But you have to find a way to rise above all that. Once you accept your situation, you can get help and move forward.

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Elijah BeaverMelanie