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Meet the Faces

Sincere Thanks

It took courage to share their stories with those who might listen and learn from their experiences.

Meet Ines

Her story is one of thousands.  You’ll recognize the fear, anxiety, sadness, pain, excitement and a myriad of other emotions in her voice.  Her experience is closer to home than you think.

Meet Josh

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

My name is Josh and I’ve stayed at the YW’s emergency shelter for a few months now. Before I came here, I was living on the streets, struggling with addiction. The YW has been super helpful. They have helped me with my mental health, they’re connecting me with all of the services I need. They’re helping me find housing. It’s really hard to make ends meet. I’m grateful for the YW but it’s a shelter, not a home. My goal is to find a home. Never judge a book by its cover, tough times can happen to anybody.

Meet Heather

Q1: What was it that originally brought you to the YWCA?

It was homelessness and abuse. I came here with my two children about 20 years ago for emergency housing.

Q2: Can you tell me more about your experiences with the YWCA?

I have returned to the YW many times over the years. Whenever I was looking for support, whenever I was facing a loss of housing or abuse, the YW was my safe haven to return to. I have stayed at the emergency shelter in St. Catharines and at the one in Niagara Falls. Once, I even was in their transitional housing program for some time. But even when I didn’t need shelter, I always knew and appreciated that I could come to the YW for a meal or a shower when I desperately needed it. When my hot water wasn’t working, I was able to come in for a shower. You know, I like to smell good 🙂 I now have a unit through the YW’s Housing First supportive housing program. I have my own apartment and regular access to support from a case manager. She helps me to navigate systems, including income support, landlord/tenant issues, health and dental care, food security, etc.

Q3: What would you tell a friend about the YWCA?
It’s a good place to stay. You can get a bed, be fed and get a shower.