Stories from the Shelter: Jennifer

With her permission, we want to take the time to share the story of Jennifer.

Jennifer comes from Manitoba, where she earned a PhD in the field of religious studies, specializing in the translation of the Hebrew bible. She went on to teach for over 12 years at colleges and universities in both Manitoba and Toronto. However, a string of short-term contracts and limited opportunities, combined with some personal issues, led to her being evicted. After having rented a small storage to keep her belongings, she got a referral to our hotel shelter in Rexdale.

As it was Jennifer’s first time being a resident in a shelter, she was unsure of what to expect. However, she quickly settled in by meeting with Breaking Barriers staff, particularly in the area of income and employment support.  A Breaking Barriers worker helped Jennifer to create a plan with steps based on her personal goals. She was soon put in touch with an employment agency that found her a full-time position with Global Pet Foods. The full-time income has allowed Jennifer to move forward in ways that may seem small but represent big steps forward for her – such as working with Breaking Barriers staff to set up a cell phone plan. Jennifer expressed she has not been able to have a personal cell phone for quite some time. She now feels hopeful for the future. Her plans include wanting to return to teaching and finding a place of her own as soon as she is able.

We are grateful to provide a place that will help Jennifer continue to reach her goals.

© Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre. Charity Registration Number: 898720651RR0001

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