Eighteen year old Mark moved to Canada with his family almost three years ago. From the moment they arrived they struggled to find safe shelter. Mark’s mother became depressed and suicidal. Sometimes she would physically abuse him.
One day Mark shared his story with his principal. The police were immediately notified and they took Mark to Our Place Peel, a United Way funded agency that provides safe shelter, food, crisis counselling and support.
Mark eventually moved into the Our Place Peel Transitional Program, which provided him with the stability he craved and needed. He accessed additional supports through local programs including: LAMP Community Health Centre and Dixie-Bloor Neighbourhood Centre, both United Way funded agencies.
Mark developed a strong support system and for the first time, felt safe and connected to his community. He attended school daily, his English improved dramatically and he was making friends at school and in his neighbourhood. Mark also realized his passion for cooking. One day he hoped he would get his Canadian citizenship and open his own restaurant.
Mark has since moved out of the Transitional Program and is currently residing at a long-term residential program. He continues to attend school daily and is getting good grades. Recently, he attended his Immigration Admissibility Hearing and was told the words he had been longing to hear... “Welcome to Canada”.
This young man who has shown incredible strength now has a real chance at a great life. He has a roof over his head, a strong support system and most importantly hope for a brighter future.