Tessa’s Home is an 8 part series running until December 27th. To listen to the audio backgrounder from family radio CHRI, click below. Miss previous episodes? Click “Recent Posts” on the right sidebar.
Tessa tells her story…
What’s home like now?
I went from being homeless, to getting into a rooming house, to an apartment. Now I have a condo. It’s not the biggest place in the world, it’s not the most fancy, but it’s clean, it’s safe and it’s in a good neighbourhood. I want to get a bigger place, like a townhouse with more space maybe a small yard for the boys… although sometimes I think I don’t want to move away from this place, like it’s small, but it’s the first place I’ve ever had that actually felt like home.
I don’t go home and sit and worry, I go home, and I’m gonna take a bath and put my robe on and sit on the couch, and play with my kids. Before when I’d go home, I’d have to eat, and to do that, I’d have to take out dishes, then I’d have to wash the dishes, ‘cause there’s cockroaches all over them, and now, I have a safe haven.
The only other place I feel safe other than home now, is art group. I don’t have to worry while I’m there. Now when I go, I take my shoes off, go get dinner, then someone comes along and lifts up my feet, walks through, and sits beside me, and we eat and talk and it feels like home – the way home should be, not like what I’ve had my whole life. I didn’t get to this point until two months before I had my second child – I was so stressed then, in 2011 – I advertised to try to get a place, but when the landlord found out I was on ODSP (Ontario Disability Service Plan) I was turned away – every time.
I finally found a place, a two bedroom with hardwood floors, where Tim and me and my two kids live today. The landlord was willing to rent to me and even gave me a deal. I couldn’t believe it! I asked her, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘Because I was you. I was a young mom, and nobody would ever rent to me. I saw your story, and it made me like, ‘I want to help you.’
All these little pieces that came together make this a home for me now. Last night I was out, and like, ‘I want to go home, and I was really excited. I was looking forward to it.’ It’s safe and it’s my home.
If I can have my kids and we’re safe, and I don’t worry at night, that’s home.’
Thanks for helping us as we continue to reach out through Street Outreach, Drop in programs and our Passion 4 Youth art program. Thank you too for your special Christmas donation to help us continue to make a difference in the lives of people on the streets. Without your support, we could not continue. Click ‘Donate Now’.