The following stories were collected through our work with The Community of Hope, a Vancouver based drop-in providing local outreach programs for the past 20 years. Founded by Pastor Yong Kim, the drop-in offers free lunches daily from Tuesday to Saturday as well as other community programs. Click here for more information.
Some very bad life decisions led me into a long-lasting battle with a serious alcohol and cigarette addiction. I've been clean for almost 16 year now, but last week I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, cancer of the tongue. I need a phone to keep me in touch with my doctors, and to connect me with my support services. I have a battle ahead of me.
I was wheelchair bound for a few years, and left without a steady income because of an injury to my back. For 3 years I lived in a back alley, rummaging for food and sometimes on the brink of death. I can tell you that most of the time I woke up thinking, “will today be my last day?”
I suffered from a sudden stroke around 15 years ago; damaging my memory and forcing me to leave work. I don’t currently have a steady source of income. I work part time as a house-keeper, but I’ve never been in the same physical condition I was in before my stroke. Disability doesn’t leave me with much after I pay my bills, I'm running out of energy.
I've had a difficult life. Years ago, my house caught on fire and I ended up losing three of my daughters. Since then, I've had a lot of difficulty recovering. I suffer from depression now, severe mood swings and in all honesty, each day's a struggle for me.