Story from Anne’s House in Nazareth Community


March 9th 2017

“A” can be described as beautiful, bright and very brave. She arrived at Anne’s House in remission from
cancer, her sister was also in remission, and during their treatments their mother died of cancer. At 21 years
of age “A” spent months hospitalized, had aggressive chemo treatments and lived in isolation wards, she
subsequently spent time in psychiatry having a breakdown during this incredibly stressful time in her life.
“A” is now sharing her story by blogging, she went back to college, now is looking for work and planning
to move out to share an apartment with a friend...

The support of HHTH gives women like A a safe and dignified space for recovery. Many of our residents
cried when entering their rooms as they had never had new furniture before, and that is thanks to HHTH.
“A”s words:

For the last eighteen months I have been living in government-subsidized social housing. Following an
extended psychiatric in-patient stay, it was advised I live in community housing until I got back on my feet.
Centrally located around my school, grocery stores, pharmacy and more, Anne's House seemed to be the
perfect fit. Being a new building, and contractors putting finishing touches on the structure there was a
wait to get in but I could tell from the moment that I met the director, Sheila Woodhouse, that this was
indeed going to be the right thing for me. We bonded over the Pharmaprix Women's 5K to raise funds for
women in mental health that I was training for and I learned that likewise, Anne's House had a team
participating in the event.

I moved in on the first day Anne's House was open, There was a stark contrast to the energy from the
previous unnamed shelter I had been staying at while waiting for Anne's House to open. There was a key to
my door so my belongings were safe and I had a warm, sunny studio apartment to call home.
The intervention workers are mostly young and understanding of our situations. They treat us with respect
and I do wholeheartedly believe that in another life I I could have been friends with them. Living in social
housing has relieved a huge financial burden, but it is mostly the relationships with other women and the
staff that has been the most beneficial for me.

Struggling to find affordable housing and a mental wellness journey has given us common ground, but I
have gotten to know these women in a whole other way. Hearing about family near and far, and even
having the pleasure of getting to know some of these members personally has created lasting and valuable
relationships.

Community living has been an experience, and though the reason I ended up there was a less than ideal
situation, Anne's House has proved to be a supportive network to help me regain my footing. Although I am
now thinking about moving on from this stage in my life and move to more independent living, I am so
grateful Anne's House was around for me when I needed it most.

With daily activities in the visual arts, music, yoga, community meals and more, there is a plethora of
things to do and keep you involved with your fellow residents.
Anne's House is and has been home for me and I have made a whole new extended family through them. It
has been my pleasure to be part of the community.

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