David worked for many years as a project manager, being involved in the construction of many well-known hotel buildings in Ontario. A bit over a year ago, while working on a big project, David suffered a foot injury. He took some days off, but was asked to return to the project as soon as possible as the construction couldn’t slow down. Working on a contract, David knew he couldn’t lose the job; so, thinking the injury wasn’t that serious, he got on his feet and went back to work. Not long after, the injury started to show some complications. Pressured by the circumstances – as many people depending on every paycheck to stay afloat are – David kept on going. The pain became unbearable, and he was soon hospitalized and in need of surgery to save his leg. The recovery process was taking longer than planned, so he was unable to rejoin the construction; however, he thought he would be alright receiving some disability support. As he was waiting for the approval, he turned 65 and found himself trapped between the disability support and the retirement process. The system collapsed around him, preventing him from receiving any financial support. He was unable to work, with just some savings to eat, unable to pay his rent, and with the need of medication and special care.
For a short period of time he crashed on people’s couches, but soon he realized that those same people, who he had helped in the past, were not as close friends as he thought they were. It didn’t take long before he was alone, on the streets, homeless…
He knew he wouldn’t survive outside, weak and barely able to walk. Soon there was new hope; he was referred to St. Felix Centre 24-Hour Respite site in Liberty Village. At the site he was offered more than shelter and food; he found people who truly cared for him and were ready to do everything they could to help him. They made sure he received his medication, accompanied him to his doctor’s appointments and started the process to get all his entangled situations with the system resolved. He went into surgery again, and St. Felix Centre’s staff decided it was better for him to be transferred to the Centre’s main site at 25 Augusta Ave. Today David is rapidly improving his mobility, he is close to getting his own place, and the Centre’s caseworkers have helped him to get his situation in order.
While he was sharing his story with us, David, with tears in his eyes, said many times: “St. Felix Centre has saved my life. I was desperate and getting ready to leave this world, and they suddenly were there, and saved me.”
Homelessness can happen to anyone; many times, as a result of circumstances out of our control. But St. Felix Centre is here, to give hope and provide support to those wonderful human beings who are in need of compassion and a hand that says: “We’ve got you, and we will be there next to you through your journey.”