Marie* loves her child and wants to give them the best possible life. This desire fills her with purpose and hope as she works to meet the needs of her small family and navigate the daily challenges she faces.
Marie arrived in Canada alone at the young age of 17 to pursue an education and career as a Personal Support Worker (PSW). After a failed relationship, however, Marie found herself living on the streets of her new city.
For two whole weeks, Marie spent nights on park benches trying to get enough sleep to continue working her full-time job. Someone in the community noticed her struggle and directed her to a local shelter where she lived for the next two years while continuing to work as a PSW and save money. During her time in the shelter, a new relationship blossomed and Marie became pregnant. Sadly, after living together for a short while, Marie left the relationship when it became unhealthy for her child.
As a young mother who once again found herself alone, Marie returned to the shelter for help. There she learned about YSM’s Evergreen Centre and the services it provides for young parents.
Not only did Evergreen offer childcare for parents with children up to the age of four, their Nursery also connected her to YSM programs which could help stabilize her family. At our baby food bank and closet she received clothing, formula, baby food, diapers, wipes and toys. Importantly, Marie was also able to access barrier-free health and dental care.
Finally, Marie feels a sense of community. Though she still faces barriers, she finds it easier to face them knowing she has the support of Evergreen staff to help her achieve her goals as a working mother.
Today Marie is making plans for the future, securing the services she needs and looking forward to a career that will allow her to give back to the community – a community she feels has given so much to her family. Optimistic about the future, Marie hopes to have a place of her own, stable child care and, most importantly, to provide a happy, healthy environment for her child.
Learn more about our Health Centre at ysm.ca/health-care
*Name and image changed to protect privacy
For our 125th anniversary we’re inviting the city of Toronto to GIVE 6IX to ‘the Six” in any way, from anywhere, to help change the lives of neighbours struggling with poverty . . .
- Give 6 boxes of diapers so young parents can focus on their kids without the worry of securing hard to afford necessities
- Send 6 emails to government officials advocating for affordable and subsidized childcare to give parents safe care for their children while they find careers to provide for their families
- The possibilities are endless!
What’s your 6IX? Learn more and get inspired at ysm.ca/GIVE6IX.