Ambition, Perseverance, and Grandchildren

Rotholme Family Shelter

James’ Story:

In 2020, after moving their granddaughter into their home, James and his wife received worrying news: “We lived in our home for 10 years until our granddaughter moved in, and shortly after, we received an eviction notice from our landlord,” James shared.

With their move-out date approaching, the increasing rental prices became a growing challenge. “We didn’t know what to do. We kept on getting eviction notices from our landlord. We were fortunate that my granddaughter was able to go to the same school when we temporarily moved to a motel,” James added.

Their only hope was to seek help from Rotholme Family Shelter, known to be London’s only family shelter.

When asked why they sought Rotholme’s help, James said: “There was nowhere else to go. We tried other resources, but it was Rotholme who helped us in the most difficult time.”

It was Mary Feeley, their Housing Diversion Worker, who assisted them with their situation.

With Rotholme’s help, James and his family were able to find stable housing for their family.

“I’m very glad we went to Rotholme and we met Mary. It may take a while to find a solution, but you need to be patient and work with them so they can help you out,” James said.

Rotholme Family Shelter is one of Mission Services’ emergency and shelter diversion programs. Rotholme can accommodate up to 20 families at a time.

The Prevention of Homelessness Among Families (PHAF) program is directed by Rotholme, and aims to connect with families who are very close to experiencing homelessness. PHAF works to either keep the family housed where they are or find housing for them so they can avoid coming into the Rotholme Family Shelter.

More About Mary Feeley:

“I started working at Mission Services of London three years ago but it was in another position; when the Housing Diversion Worker position opened in April 2022, I applied right away because I have always wanted to help out families,” Mary Feeley said.

With the housing market problem in Canada, it has been really challenging to find stable housing.

“Sometimes I feel like my hands are tied because I can’t change the prices of rental units available to people in London,” she added. Mary explained that every family’s situation looks very different; sometimes she assists families with eviction processes and helps advocate for them at hearings with Tribunals Ontario. “I believe that housing is a right for everyone, especially affordable housing which is a big barrier right now for many people,” Mary shared.

Helping families is the best part of Mary’s job. “It’s always a team effort working alongside families in the community. I have seen many success stories and that really warms my heart. I can say that the meaningful relationships that I have built with many families has made a positive impact on my life and theirs,” she said.

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