Beating the Odds

Six years ago, Camille was enjoying what promised to be an amazing life.  Five months pregnant and reunited with her first love, all was as it should be.  At that blessed time, she had no idea that things were about to change forever.  “He was the love of my life,” says Camille.  “When he came back into my life, my children finally had their Dad back,” she remembers.  “I knew it was meant to be.”  But, in a flash, it was gone.

One morning, Camille stood in her kitchen, preparing the family meal, when a neighbour burst through the door.  “She told me my husband had been stabbed,” she says.  “It was like a movie.  Everything went numb.”  Camille’s husband had been killed in a senseless altercation.  A ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’ situation that forever changed her amazing life.  “Through it all, I remained strong,” she says.  She had to.

After a violent end to her happily ever after, Camille returned to London to be near family.  “I got a job in a restaurant, but I just couldn’t deal with my grief,” she recalls. “Everybody handles grief a different way and I just…didn’t.”

Camille forged on, settling into her new job but in a terrible twist of fate, a customer suffered a fatal heart attack during her shift.  It pushed Camille into a place of unbelievable stress.  “I repressed so much emotion and I just kept pushing it down,” she says.  Yet, she still had bills to pay and children to raise, including two teenage sons.  “I just couldn’t make ends meet,” she says.  “My rent was insane, I had growing mouths to feed and my son was having his own problems with drugs.”  She remained focused, knowing she would do whatever she could to keep her family together.

Soon, she couldn’t hold on any longer.  She went to Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter.  “I knew they’d help me get on my feet,” she explains.  “They took us in, and the stress came right off of my shoulders.” The case workers helped Camille apply for subsidized housing, update her health cards and schedule medical checkups for her and her family.  “There’s no judgement here,” she says.  “They’ve encouraged me to be productive and hopeful,” she says.

Camille has secured subsidized housing and is poised to return to work in the near future.  “God brought me to this place,” she says with a smile.  “Everything is going to be alright.”

For more information about Rotholme Women’s & Family Shelter click HERE

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