It's a Vicious Cycle
Growing up I just knew there was something different, something wrong with me. I would stay home almost all the time and often sleep for days on end. This happened in brief flashes and I was told that I was in a funk, it would pass. As I got older and started to deal with the life of being abused, becoming a single mother and being low income, the funks would grow longer.
I can remember when my daughter was younger and in school , I would get up in the morning, get her ready for school and send her off. Then I would go back to bed until just before she was due home. I thought I was hiding it but she says she has always known.
A few years ago I was finally diagnosed with Major Depression after a friend sort of forced me to contact Mental Health. For me it is a daily ongoing battle. I can usually handle the stress of my everyday life but changes are difficult for me, routine helps me keep in balance. The past few years have been particularly difficult as we fight with our landlord trying to keep our home.
Last fall the Administrative Director of our landlords tried to evict us because at that time my daughter was a part-time University student. Mind you it was only for one semester and she had been attending classes for 4 straight semesters by then including attending summer school. Over the years this woman has contacted Mental Health making accusations about me, which resulted in me stopping getting the help I needed. On one occasion, she even locked me in a room and stood in front of the door so I couldn’t leave the room while she threatened me. It has gotten so bad that simply the thought of this woman makes me physically ill. My anxiety goes through the roof and I start to have stomach problems and the toilet becomes my best friend.
I have numerous emails from this woman threatening me and my daughter with eviction, and even emails from her admitting that the policy that they were trying to use to evict us last fall wasn’t even a policy of the landlords, but that they were considering making it one. She has stated on more than one occasion that they want us out in order to provide housing to younger families. I understand, and believe me if we could move I would but unfortunately this is not our reality.
My daughter is a wonderful young woman and unlike myself or the women in our family, she is going places. That is until recently when it became clear that the cycle is starting to repeat. My daughter has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, ( I believe this ongoing situation with our landlord plays a huge part of it). Recently she had to email our landlords about the fact that she was working, she finally got a part-time job and as a result needed to update our file and possibly end up paying a different amount for rent as our rent is geared to income. We dreaded emailing the landlords, and it would seem that we were right to dread contacting them as they have sent us an email stating that they are going to raise her portion of the rent to over 50% more than she is currently paying and almost the exact amount that she made the last month. This rent increase is supposedly as a result from a letter/email from BC Housing stating that they must increase her portion. When we called BC housing we were told that it wasn’t the case.
I’m so tired of all of this, I’ve spent the past few nights not sleeping, my stomach is acting up and I can barely eat. I’ve been scatterbrained and I’m worried about losing my job. I finally got one after being unemployed for almost 4 years. It just feels like once things start to finally go right, this woman attacks us and uses her power to threaten, bully and harrass us. I don’t understand how one person can have that much power over hundreds of lives and there seems to be nothing we can do about it.
Consultation has concluded
Thank you to everyone who sent in their stories and feedback to help reduce and prevent homelessness in Canada. In the coming months, the Government of Canada will release a report based on what was heard during the engagement process.