Some of our tenants shared what affordable housing has meant to them. These tenants reside at Columbus Place which opened in 2013 and provides below market housing to those in need. We are raising funds to build additional capacity and to make rents truly affordable for some of our most in need tenants at Columbus Place.
I thank God that I have a home to run to when I get caught in the rain. I take one day at a time, I concentrate what I have and I rely on my positive supports. I am thankful that Bishop O’Byrne Housing gave me a second chance and [my Tenant Resource Person] provided me with resources on my journey to stay sober.
I lived in a basement suite for four years. It was always cold in there, even in the summer, and the bugs were very hard to keep out. After about a year or so I started feeling sick all the time, only to find out that there was mold in both of the basement suites. Because I couldn’t say no to people, especially family, someone was always coming to stay with me. I worried constantly about my rent being increased because of the extra people in my suite and I just couldn’t afford that. Someone told me about Columbus Place/Manor so I applied and was thrilled when I was accepted. Now no one can come to stay with me and my health has improved immensely. Best of all, I work right across the street and am now above ground.
This building gives me the security that I would never find on the street. No one deserves to be forced to live on the street. It is very volatile out there. Most people turn to alcohol or drugs just to cope with the violence that often occurs while living on the streets.
Affordable housing is a vital to help those that are suffering from addictions, mental illness or both. A home is necessary so we do not freeze to death or get assaulted while trying to survive sleeping in a park, alley, or dumpster somewhere. As a senior, my only income is my pension which is less than $1,200 a month. My rent here is $765 so I’m left with only $400 to live on each month. If it wasn’t for my home here I would be back on the streets trying to survive. And, believe me, I wouldn’t survive for long. Through the RESOLVE Campaign, BOBHA will pay down the mortgage on this building. This will allow BOBHA to reduce rents for John and the other tenants who make their homes there.
[Click here to Read John’s Full Story]
I went to school during the fall and winter for many years – working first on getting my high school diploma through Bow Valley College and then started on the Child and Youth Program at Mount Royal University where I made the honour role. I worked concessions in the summers and as a commercial driver with the carnival, travelling up and down the west and east coasts. When I found out that I have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, it helped me learn a lot about myself. I found myself without a place to call home in 2015 and ended up couchsurfing for most of the year. I’m in my early 50s now so the uncertainty and stress was hard. I had somewhere to live for 11 years before that. It was hard to come up with money for storage so that I wouldn’t lose my stuff. I wanted the peace of mind of having my own place. I wanted to get help. I knew about Bishop O’Byrne Housing Association (BOBHA)’s senior buildings because I had helped my son’s stepmom find a home at Columbus Manor a few years back. She is the one who told me about BOBHA’s new building which was open to older adults as well as seniors. I lived in my friend’s garage, using space heaters for warmth, while I waited to get approved. I’ve been here for just about a year now and am proud of my home.
After bouncing from residence to residence for a couple of years, I was referred to Bishop O’Byrne Housing Association (BOBHA), one of RESOLVE’s Partners. They provided me with a home – one that was finally safe, stable and long-term. In the two-and-a-half years I’ve lived here, I’ve been able to quit smoking and shed 100 of my almost 300 pounds. This has helped me to manage my symptoms and I’m now considering a return to employment (perhaps even in a small way). A home is the foundation for stability – food, clothing, services; and this is something I know firsthand.
[Click here to read David’s full story]
Immediate rental relief support is being provided by private individuals as well as the Roman Catholic Diocese to some of our most in need tenants.
The Roman Catholic Diocese support has allowed us to provide rental subsidies to families, making rents affordable to families so that they can meet their other basic needs and have confidence that they can financially maintain their housing.
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If you are interested in supporting our tenants with rental relief please see Operations and Programs for more information.