My name is Millie and today I’m thankful to have a home, my health, and one year of sobriety.
Two years ago I was facing eviction and homelessness. Without Bissell Centre’s hot meals, I would have gone hungry, and without help from their caring staff, I would have ended up back on the streets.
I’ve been battling addiction, violence, and poverty all my life. I grew up in a turbulent, sometimes violent household.
After watching and experiencing the cycle of substance abuse in my family, I vowed I’d never drink, but things didn’t go the way I planned.
At 24, I fell in love, got married, and had two children. After a few years together, my husband’s behaviour became all too familiar. He had an alcohol addiction and was becoming increasingly violent. I started coping by drinking as well.
Soon, I was forced to pack up my kids and move into my car until we could get into a shelter.
Life as a single-parent was never easy, but I was determined to give my kids a good life. My kids and I have had many successes together, but sadly, the pain of my childhood and married years was always there in the background. Achieving sobriety has become a lifelong battle, adding extra challenges to my already complicated life.
“I was struggling to put food on the table. Without Bissell Centre’s daily meals, I would have gone hungry.”
Two years ago my rent was raised unexpectedly. This increase meant that after paying for rent, my phone bill, and a bus pass, I was left with $30 per month for all other costs. Needless to say, I was struggling to put food on the table.
Bissell Centre’s program, Community Bridge helped me with rent and utilities in my time of emergency. I was so incredibly relieved to get help, and not be struggling by myself anymore.
Now I have a safe home to go to every night, and for that I’m so grateful. I wake up every day not having to worry about where I’ll find a meal.
Today, I’ve been sober for almost a year. Every day sober is an achievement. I am also a Peer Outreach Worker providing street-level support for people dealing with addictions and I’m finally at peace with myself and my world.