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Note: This story has been published with permission from the people involved. Names have been changed to protect their privacy.

Brian is a 62 year old man who had been homeless for 6 years when he began using services at Boyle Street Community Services. He showed up one winter in his wheelchair and immediately stole the hearts of staff and community. He would come to Boyle Street every morning and as his wheelchair made it hard for him to go up to the drop in, he would sit at the front doorway. Staff used to call him our door greeter because he always greeted everyone with a smiling face.

In August 2014, staff began to notice Brian’s mood changing, and his health slowly deteriorating. Brian was less happy, and staff noticed he was drinking more heavily. At one point, Brian told several workers that he did not think he would survive another winter if he was homeless.

The staff at Boyle Street began to take action after it was realized that he did not have an assigned worker. The Intake and Referral Coordinator began doing some work with Brian to help him obtain identification, which he stated he had not had for years. She then referred Brian to Amanda, Adult Resources Coordinator, who immediately sprang into action to find Brian a suitable housing situation. Leveraging her connections within Boyle Street and the inner city, Amanda was able to get Brian on to a waiting list for McCauley Lodge through Operation Friendship Senior Society. Brian was put into a home right before the first snowfall (much to his relief).

The day he was handed the keys to his new home, Amanda noticed that Brian’s smile, the one that all the Boyle Street staff and community came to recognize and love, had returned. Amanda will work with Brian until he is adjusted to his new setting and comfortable with the social workers on hand at his living facility. Brian is quickly getting used to his new home, socializing with the other tenants, and no longer drinking heavily. Amanda notices a huge decrease in Brian’s level of stress and anxiety.

 

For More Information

Contact your FCSS Liaison

Title Community Investment Office
Telephone

780-496-4932

Email grants@edmonton.ca

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