Josie was born into poverty and grew up moving from one family shelter to another. It was a lonely and hopeless childhood. When you don’t know where you’re going to sleep the next night, the thought of going to school or holding down a job is difficult to even imagine…
But as impossible as it seemed, Josie was determined to break free from the cycle of poverty that had plagued her family for generations. She refused to let her past rob her of the future she so desperately wanted.
Josie’s first step was to apply for transitional housing at Eva’s Phoenix. She knew all about Eva’s Phoenix as she was part of the recreation program’s Running Club for the past three years. She applied to live there and was accepted and for the first time in her young life she had a room of her own with a key!
Josie was warmly welcomed by people at Eva’s who were devoted to working with her one-on-one to help her heal from past trauma and not only to imagine, but achieve her goals for a better future.
Josie eagerly participated in the Recreation Program and was involved in the Running Club and participated in an early morning weekly rowing activity. She is also a juggler and unicyclist and enjoyed teaching the other residents how to juggle and ride a unicycle. She then enrolled in the Construction and Building Maintenance Training Program and to her surprise fell in love with the Trades – carpentry in particular. She did so well that upon completion, a big construction company hired her permanently!
Her smile brightens the whole room as she tells you how living and learning at Eva’s for the transformed her life: “Six months ago I wasn’t registered in school, six months ago I was emotionally troubled, six months ago I had no stability… Now, I wake up at 6AM to be on the construction job site at 7AM and I work my butt off all day and I couldn’t be happier”.
She moved out of Eva’s Phoenix into her very own apartment last November, and is doing wonderful at her job. She also started her carpentry apprenticeship with Carpentry Union Local 27. It is a four year course and at the end of it she will earn her Red Seal in Carpentry Certificate and become a Carpenter Journey Person.
With a great job, solid life skills and a renewed sense of hope, belonging and self-worth, Josie’s new dream is to own property so that nobody can pull the rug from under her feet again.
Here’s a link to a video of Josie https://youtu.be/NeLXUm0sL1k