Jane came to Project SHARE 6 years ago through a referral from the YWCA. She had recently relocated to Niagara after fleeing from domestic violence in the Toronto area. She was in the process of leaving their shelter and transitioning to subsidized housing when she first came to Project SHARE.
“I felt like I would always be lost and a part of the system” explained Jane. She is on disability income from Canada Pension Plan as she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after being a victim of both childhood and domestic abuse, was recently diagnosed with MS and lives with a heart condition. She was struggling to make ends meet for herself and her daughter. “Project SHARE was very welcoming and non-judgemental. It’s like going to have coffee with a friend…I’m not ashamed to talk about it” she explained of the one on one meetings she had with our client support workers.
Jane accesses our emergency food program weekly for fresh produce. “Without that we wouldn’t be able to eat healthy at all. It’s not a hand out, but a hand up” she explained. The pizza she often receives through this program is a welcome treat for her daughter. Jane was able to receive ensure and boost after being hospitalized with a health scare, which she otherwise would not have been able to afford. The bonus items given out in the food room have meant so much to Jane. “I have received makeup from you. Something I would not have been able to afford, that really helped lift my spirit. It sounds silly but I felt like my beauty on the outside could match my beauty on the inside.”
Our Christmas Program has enabled Jane to have a holiday meal and a few gifts for her daughter. “I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise” she explained. “It’s hard to cover the rent, laundry and transportation.” Project SHARE has helped Jane with bus tickets as well to get to her various medical appointments. “When you have mobility issues it makes it difficult” she expressed. “Project SHARE is more than just help with groceries”.
In addition to Project SHARE’s programs, Jane has received referrals to other community services. “My daughter has done remarkably well with her counselling and health issues” she explained when discussing the referral she received to the Niagara Falls Community Health Centre. “She saw her Mom admitted to the psychiatric unit. Now I know she is going to be okay”.
Jane’s goals for the future are to go to college and become a social worker. “The system has let us down” Jane feels. “I want to get off the system. I didn’t plan on MS, or my heart problems or my PTSD. I want to prosper. I want to give back as a functional member of society. Without the strength of your services I would have given up by now, instead I see this as a stepping stone to get to where I need to be. Now that I have seen my daughter through school and know she is going to be okay I can focus on my goals”. Jane expresses her story as a “journey to wellness” and has recently been accepted into a treatment program for her PTSD.