As 2018 draws to a close we make our holiday plans with friends and family, propose well-intentioned resolutions for 2019, and reflect on our blessings.
At Bruce House we are privileged to be supported by people like you, who understand the importance of a stable home, a comforting person, a place to find rest and renewal. We are also privileged to be part of our clients’ extended families—to be the ones relied on for support during illness or crisis, to be the providers of homes and warmth, to be trusted with the fears and hopes of the many people who rely on us to be there for them.
Bruce House programs work together, seeing every client as an individual whose needs are best met with warmth, compassion, and understanding.
Dominique arrived in Ottawa in November 2015. He came with a suitcase, a backpack, mental health issues, and HIV. A friend suggested that he visit the AIDS Committee of Ottawa for support, where he member Sonya recommended Bruce House. Within days he had moved in to the Transition House and was connected to “the best doctor in the world.”
“Three people saved my life. Sonya, Richard [then Transition House Coordinator], and my friend David. Bruce House saved my life.”
Finding affordable and appropriate housing in Ottawa is challenging, and waiting lists are long. On his journey to a better life Dominique first moved to an apartment that was not subsidised—his rent cost two-thirds of his monthly ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) cheque, making it a struggle to meet basic needs. He later moved to a more affordable apartment, however there he dealt with bugs, noisy neighbours, and poor maintenance.
“I saw what poverty is, how people have problems with health, addictions, mental health. People often rejected by the system, by other people.”
Dominique now lives in a new apartment—a clean, quiet, and affordable place. “Now I have a good life. I believe I nature, and outside my window I see the Museum of Nature and its park!” He attends the monthly Community Kitchen program, has a volunteer buddy who takes him out once a week, and participates in client socials and art workshops.
“I feel privileged. A lot of people had the same situation, but didn’t have the support of Bruce House. I was given a big opportunity, but I feel guilty… other people don’t have what I have now. How can you be healthy and productive in society if you are not supported?”
Thank you for your encouragement, your commitment to a healthy community, and for helping us support people impacted by HIV– people like Dominique. Thanks to you we can help clients with basic needs, get to and from cancer treatments, reduce social isolation by providing volunteer buddies, schedule check-in calls, and cope with life’s challenges.
Wishing you a warm, bright and beautiful holiday and a new year filled with health and happiness.
The board, staff, clients and volunteers of Bruce House.