Ryan Dubois, 24, and Chantelle Warner, 25, unexpectedly found themselves facing homelessness after their previous living arrangement and jobs fell through. Chantelle was expecting their child, and the two pooled everything that they had to try and find a home.
Unfortunately, there is a housing crisis in Vernon, British Colombia, Canada and they were unable to afford any apartments or homes for rent. The demand is so high for subsidized housing, they wouldn’t find a spot in time for the baby. They thought about living in shelters but realized that they would be separated. Instead, they reached out to First Nations Friendship Centre and received a little bit of money to use a campsite for a week.But that didn’t sit right with Midge Smith, a social worker who knew that a pregnant woman needed more stability than that. She invited the pair to use her front lawn as a campsite for free so that they could save money and have a safe place to keep their items while they build up their savings.
Ryan was able to quickly find a job building tiny houses for a growing project, and hopes that he and Chantelle will be able to live in one soon. He rides his bike to work everyday and wants to use his experience in construction to make a better life for his growing family. Chantelle plans to go to school to become a care aide.
Even making $12 an hour and working 60 hours a week, Ryan isn’t able to afford the rental prices in the area each month, much less food and items for the baby. The housing crisis is getting out of control, and Midge Smith realizes that it is crippling the youth in Vernon. If it isn’t fixed soon, their story may soon by the stories of many more to come.
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