A Way Home

A Photo of Erin and Crystal together
by juneli
Categories: Divisional News
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By: June Li

Crystal had a stable job and a warm home to go to every night. In every aspect, Crystal was self-sufficient. However, sudden turns of events left her without a place to call home. Unfortunately, Crystal was facing eviction and left with nowhere to go.  “I didn’t have time to find a place. That is what brought me here.”

Today, Crystal is at The Salvation Army’s Belinda’s Place in Newmarket, a multi-service facility that supports single women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Crystal explains that the staff has been very supportive in helping her find a home. “They will point you in the right direction,” Crystal says, “And when it comes to second stage housing and transitional housing, they are right there for you.”

Erin Williams, Shelter Manager at The Belinda’s Place, explains that Crystal’s situation is not unique, “We have a 98% occupancy rate every night, and the reality is that we witness a lot of women who turn to us for assistance due to unexpected circumstances.”

From expectant mothers, young mothers to mothers with adult children, The Belinda’s Place is focused on helping women get back on their feet.  Though Crystal is still in search of a place of her own, her Caseworker, Amy was able to help her find a safe residence for her son. “One of our main goals is family unification,” Williams explains, “We offer our client’s different types of family counselling through the Belinda’s Place and connect them with resources outside of the building.”

The Belinda’s Place is focused on helping women get housed and stay housed. The facility provides a wide range of supports such as employment assistance and housing appointments.

“When I first came to the Belinda’s Place they were great,” says Crystal, “They were very sensitive to my situation and waited until I was ready to talk about it. They’re all very good people and they give great support.”