When Greg, his wife, and their two daughters were living with a family member who wanted to be alone, they knew it was time to go. This family member had recently lost his spouse and turned to drinking alcohol as a way to cope with his grief. “It just kept getting worse and worse, and along with his drinking, he became very verbally abusive, aggressive. He just wanted to be by himself and didn’t know how to ask us to move out so he just started being so mean,” Greg explained. “With my little baby there and my 15-year-old daughter, I phoned Rotholme because we could not stay there”.
Not only is Greg thankful for the safe shelter Rotholme Family Shelter has provided his family in their time of need, but he is also relieved to have nourishing, balanced meals each day. “We eat three meals a day, every day,” he said. “Whatever they cook here, it’s always filling. We never go hungry”.
As Greg’s youngest daughter is just beginning to eat solid foods, he is particularly appreciative of the efforts made by the kitchen team to support her development. “Erin [a cook at Rotholme] makes a really hard effort to feed my little one. She’s just learning how to eat people food, and Erin always makes sure she gets what she needs,” Greg said gratefully. “My baby loves Erin. She always smiles at her”.
In this video, Erin shares what it means to her to prepare meals for families in need.
Greg’s baby was born just before the COVID-19 pandemic began, so she has not been around many people. “Coming here she kind of opened up more. When people put the time into [my daughter] she will be friendly with them, smile at them, wave to them,” Greg shared. “The caseworkers always talk to us. If we need something we know we don’t have to be worried about asking”. The Rotholme staff continue to connect with each family and provide vital services while maintaining a safe physical distance.
In addition to the meal service at Rotholme, Greg has found the housing selection program to be of significant value and importance. “Me and my wife right now, we’re really trying to get a place to live and we’re constantly at appointments [to look at available houses],” he said. “Since I started talking to the [caseworkers] more and more, I started trusting them and opening up about our situation. So, they’ve helped us full-on”.
The strong effort Greg has given to searching for a new home has yielded encouraging results. “I think we’ve found a place…. We’re just waiting to hear back but we’re ready with everything… The shelter worked with me really extensively to get the paperwork I needed to get done to help us get a place,” he explained.
Greg is now looking to the future with hope. “Without this place, I was at a loss. I didn’t know what I going to do, but Rotholme saved me…” he shared. “We’re grateful”.
Written by Amy Bumbacco
Communications & PR Coordinator