It’s Callee again; are you ready to hear how this chapter wraps up? Michael House decided to build a Supportive Housing building (now called Emily’s Place) when they realized that new moms need to feel independent, yet still be supported. I was fortunate when they reached out to me because that help and grounding was something I still needed. I was one of the first people to move into Emily’s Place and because of my experience with Michael House, I was chosen as a special speaker at the grand opening. I spoke about  how this project was going to benefit other girls and help them meet their goals in future. I shared how I wished it had been around in 2006, and that having a home like this could have prevented some of the instability I’ve had over the years; I would have been more prepped for being a mom and surviving on my own.
In October 2015 I moved into Emily’s Place and started my goal planning with one of the staff. While I was there I took every opportunity to better myself. I felt that I had let myself down over the years, and I decided enough was enough and now was the time to push through. I planned to stay at Emily’s Place until I had met all of my goals and was 100% ready.
I lived at Emily’s Place for just under a year. In that time I had my F&CS file closed, had a baby, received my high school diploma, learned to budget and maintain my finances, and felt better about my choices in life.
I am now 29 years old and have been living on my own once again since 2016. I own a car and have a savings account to buy my own home. My children are 10, 8 and 2 years old. I work two part-time jobs and attend Conestoga College full time in the Women in Skilled Trades Pre-Apprenticeship in Carpentry Program. I found a career that has made me feel motivated every day. I start my co-op this April and I can’t wait to see where this takes me. Michael House gave me the tools and support I needed to rebuild myself and make a better future for my family!

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Part 2

Hi! It’s Callee again. When my story left off I was attending Fanshawe College to become a child and youth worker. Juggling school and family is hard for anyone, but I was doing this as a single mom. My son was in daycare and I was commuting to London every day to go to school. The driving, the distance, the time away from my son, illness, daycare, taking care of a home and let’s not forget homework were all taking a toll on me. I was struggling to keep my head above water and then I learned I was going to have another baby. I was going to have to leave school. In 2009, my second child was born, and I was not only a high school dropout, but a college dropout as well. I was trying to focus on my mental health while at the same time dealing with Family and Children’s Services and their presence in my life. I couldn’t seem to find any stability. Though I was a mom with two young children I was still determined to find a career path where I could be successful and provide for my family.  Then in 2015 I got a call from the wonderful ladies at Michael House. I had stayed in touch with the After Care workers all through the years and they had heard that I was pregnant for the third time and having some struggles. They wanted to talk to me about their new project called Supportive Housing. I was interested. Could this be a chance for me to find the stability I needed?

Part 1

My name is Callee and I want to share my story with you. Seventeen; that’s how old I was when I discovered I was pregnant with my oldest son. I was seventeen, pregnant, a high school drop-out and living with my grandfather who is a minister. I felt so out of place and like I was a disappointment to everyone. I knew I needed some support so I joined a young mom’s group at the Guelph YMCA called TAPPS. There I learned from a friend about Michael House. We both applied to get in to the residential program and we were both accepted right after Christmas in 2006. Michael House hadn’t been opened long and was still in the original 3 bedroom house. Several months later my son was born. I was very fortunate to get accepted into subsidized housing. I had been accepted into the Child and Youth worker program at Fanshawe College and really felt that I was on the road to a secure future. But I was not at all prepared for what came next.