Journey to take back control

Janice standing in front of wall
by larisa

    Janice came to L’Abri d’espoir over a year ago. Her journey to arrive at The Salvation Army’s Montreal women’s shelter and be where she is today, required a lot of determination, support and help, but she is proud of what she has accomplished.

    Janice moved to Québec to escape with her daughter from an abusive relationship, as it was the safest place for both at the time. When they arrived in Montreal her daughter found herself an apartment, but it was too small for both of them to live together.

    Janice did not want her daughter to worry for her however, she would have never thought to be homeless and without a job. Janice did what she had to, to make sure her daughter didn’t have to live on the streets.

    Janice found out about The Salvation Army’s L’Abri d’espoir in Tracom’s resource kit (Centre d’intervention de crise Tracom).  When she first arrived at L’Abri, she was extremely anxious, and she cried a lot as she was nervous about the future.  The staff “made me feel comfortable in my room and I immediate felt that everything was going be okay”, she explains.

    Janice had multiple challenges that she would have to face on her journey to recovery. The main challenges to overcome were both physical and psychological. Janice suffers from fibromyalgia and paralysing anxiety.

    “L’Abri provided me with food, a bed, a comfortable room, access to proper medication, but most importantly a routine, a calm place. I can go for a walk in the park, to the pool and even bike around. Things that I am very grateful for.”

    When Janice was asked how she felt today after a year at L’Abri, she said that she was very content and proud of herself.  “I can’t remember the last time I felt like this. I am very grateful to the Salvation Army and to God.”

    Janice now has a full-time job and is a member of the Brotherhood of Electricians in Québec union. “I can manage now” says Janice. Being part of the union guarantees her hours, full benefits and the potential to work until she is 69 years old. Staying at L’Abri even helped her support her daughter to get her bachelor’s degree in 2019.

    Due to the Covid-19 situation, Janice is still working full time, but from her room at L’Abri. She says that at her age having a quiet room where she can work whenever she wants while being safe, it’s very important.

    L’Abri d’espoir’s long-term program is offered for a maximum stay of two years. It has not been two years since Janice arrived there, however she is already thinking about the next step in her recovery. With the help of her social worker Silvia, Janice has applied at La maison Marguerite where she will get her own apartment this coming winter.

    Janice would like to express her appreciation to Sharon, Ginette and Josée for their help and support throughout her journey at L’Abri d’espoir.