When Bibi arrived in Canada, she had nowhere to go and moved into a youth shelter. Shelter staff referred her to YSM’s Family Services for support in overcoming multiple barriers, including finding adequate housing, addressing major health issues faced by herself and her young children, ensuring they had regular access to nutritious meals, overcoming financial instability, and ensuring the family’s safety.
As a first step, YSM’s Food Bank provided food and diapers. Then, a plan of action was developed in collaboration with YSM Housing Services. Bibi was able to access priority housing because of her health issues and fears for her safety and YSM Family Services connected her to a family doctor. Bibi then worked with YSM to set realistic goals and timelines to obtain her GED, attend parenting workshops, and receive training for financial literacy.
Bibi is eager for the day she completes her education and is no longer dependent on government social assistance. She wants to build better lives for her and her children. Bibi says, “My hope has been restored because of the support that YSM is providing.”
A family in Toronto can end up in a crisis situation for a number of reasons. Job losses, relationship breakdowns or mental health issues are all situations that any family may experience. But they can be critical situations for low-income families with little financial stability. A discouraging number of single-parent families and new immigrant families are moving into shelters, which only provide a short-term solution. And, this harsh living arrangement isn’t beneficial for a healthy family life.
New Canadian families also struggle with other issues as they adapt to life in Canada. This can include parenting in a different culture and understanding the school systems, both of which can leave them feeling overwhelmed. Fathers who struggle to find meaningful employment often experience depression.