Tri-Cities Homelessness & Housing Task Group

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“To alter or make different.”
That is what one definition in the “Webster’s Dictionary “states. This is perhaps the most challenging part of my job when it comes to helping people with their belief system. I am not going to go into too much detail about this topic as I can go on for quite awhile. I am going to share with you an experience I had with a mother who had made the decision to change. She came down from the Sunshine Coast to help her daughter and her two babies who were abandoned by her boyfriend. However, the grandmother had a serious drug addiction and at first I doubted her will to get clean without treatment, but she was determined. She had been using crack cocaine for the last 18 years and was about to quit cold turkey. When the grandmother arrived, her daughter was now living in a one bedroom suite that was below ground. It was dark, gloomy and way too small for the four of them. To make matters worse the 26 year old addicted brother also came and slept over for a number of days before he was asked to leave.

Then, after living there for only a week, a water main broke outside and flooded their place. During this time the grandmother was in full detox mode and was not exactly the happiest person. However she hung in there and stayed clean. Right after the flood, they had to get out of there as mould was starting to appear on the walls and so the daughter started looking immediately. It has now been seven weeks that the grandmother has stayed off the crack and it is not only her determination and stubbornness that has done this, but her willingness to look at her old belief system, behaviours and make the effort to change. Today, they are getting ready to move into a newer three bedroom upstairs portion of a house with lots of fresh air and plenty of light. By staying off the crack, the grandmother has found renewed strength and an increasing love of life. I’ve told her from the beginning that when you make the decision to clean up and make changes, good things will happen.

by Darren Charuk

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