What would you do if you suddenly become homeless without any savings or support network?
Imagine, marrying the love of your life and having three beautiful children together. Your first child is born with a debilitating medical condition. This leads to higher stress levels for you and your spouse. The persistent stress leads to mental health distress for your spouse, resulting in a dependence on medication.
Then, imagine bearing witness as addiction overtakes them. As your spouse becomes more dependent on substances, their behaviour becomes abusive. You try everything you can think of to reduce the negative impact on your children and keep your family together including quitting your job to help manage things at home. Soon, finances are low and things seem completely turned around. Your heart breaks as your family suffers.
Imagine, losing access to your finances and not having the ability to pay monthly expenses or cover the basic needs for your children.You stay, for a variety of reasons, but eventually you know it’s time for you and the children to leave.
You suddenly become homeless without any savings or support network. Do you reach out for help?
This was Matt’s experience! As a male dealing with domestic violence, he had difficulty finding services that support men in Niagara. When Matt learned that Bethlehem offered services for both men and women he reached out for help.
“I left an abusive marriage with my three children without a vehicle, access to our identification and bank account, and with no income source. I needed to start our lives again from scratch and I had no foundation to build upon. When my family was spiraling out of control Bethlehem cast a large net that kept us alive.
The staff at Bethlehem spearheaded the course of action to find suitable housing for my family within Niagara Regional Housing. When housing was found, they mobilized to find movers and coordinate the move into our new home. They helped me to reapply for new birth certificates for my children and start the process of claiming child tax benefits. They guided me through the process of renewing my identification and opening a bank account. The staff advocated on my behalf to secure resources and to connect us with services in the community that will help me to continue to support and care for my children.
Without the services that Bethlehem provides I would not have the means to support my family. The people of Bethlehem took a huge weight from my shoulders and gave me the stable environment needed for my family to thrive.”