Johnathan was homeless, sleeping in bus shacks and scrounging for food. He was alone and not sure of what resources were available in the city. That's when he met RaY's Street Outreach team.
Over a hot meal, the Outreach team talked with Johnathan about his options. With food in his stomach and freshly showered, he was connected with emergency shelter.
Next, Johnathan entered RaY's Level Up! Employment & Training program, a paid training program. He says "Level Up! gave me a glimpse into what it would be like to get back into the working world." He got a job and with that income was able to access stable permanent housing, first with roommates and eventually getting his own place.
When asked about RaY, Johnathan says, "You might ask what they do besides a hot meal and showers. They also do cultural supports for mostly Indigenous youth who have kind of lost themselves. They do Sundance, sweat lodges, full moon ceremonies every month. That's helped me in finding myself.
I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of RaY."
Daisy has always been fiercely independent. After graduating high school, she moved into her own apartment and worked two jobs to save up money for her dream of attending nursing school.
Daisy had successfully gotten out of an abusive relationship and was celebrating at a party one night when a friend offered her meth. She was immediately hooked. She left both her jobs because of substance use and was eventually kicked out of her apartment by her roommate.
Alone on the streets, Daisy turned to sex work to fund her addiction. She was turned away by the street community, robbed, beaten, and chased out of communities. Vulnerable and unsafe, she spent her time dumpster diving, while constantly fearing for her life. She would come to RaY for food and a shower, but not much else. That is when she found out she was pregnant.
Pregnancy was a wake-up call for Daisy. Determined to provide the best possible life for her baby, she connected with the housing team at RaY. The housing team helped her access primary healthcare. She made the decision to get treatment for her meth addiction. After completing treatment, Daisy was accepted into transitional housing at Villa Rosa. She participated in educational programming that would help prepare her for motherhood and give her the skills to care for her baby. She got health and dental check-ups, got her taxes done, and upgraded her Grade 12 math courses.
When it came time to look for permanent housing for herself and baby, Daisy actively participated in the housing search. She took ownership over the search process and, with the help of RaY’s Housing First workers, Daisy found an apartment she could call home.
With the help of Housing First, Daisy has found the independence she has long sought. “Getting started is a very long and hard process that is totally worth it,” she says. “I am glad I’m able to be safe, warm, sober, and happy with my baby.”