Doug’s winter was cold and lonely.
But on a recent April morning, he suddenly felt as renewed as a spring day. The sky was clear, the temperature warm and, most importantly, it was moving day.
On that magnificant day he moved from the Russell shelter into his own fully furnished apartment.
Just months ago he reached the depths of despair when he lost his housing through no fault of his own. He had been duped by a roommate who took his rent money and furnishings.
Lookout Society outreach worker Jody K. found him cold and “white as a ghost” curled up underneath a tree. At the time he talked of ending his life and joining his wife, who had passed on several years earlier.
That’s when things went downhill for him. Since her death, Doug’s life had been problem-filled. He had been stabbed and robbed several times.
And finding a place to live didn’t work out for the former tractor-trailer driver and Canadian Army veteran. He lived temporarily with his daughter in Abbotsford, but left after because he felt he was intruding on her young family.
After that he struggled to find accommodations but high rents gave him few options. Then, when Doug came across a shared accommodation rental, he felt his luck was turning around.
But when his prospective roommate deceived him, it seemed he had run out of chances.
But Jody, like a guardian angel, found him at this moment. She made sure he got into a shelter, first the Yukon shelter in Vancouver and then the Russell. Jody also connected him with the social services Doug needed to get his life back on track.
And then, on that gorgeous spring morning, she helped him move into his new home.
Doug’s face beamed and his worries evaporated that morning. He thrust out the thumbs up sign when asked how he felt today.
One of the first things he planned to do once settled, was cook a great meal. His guest of honour would be Jody.
“I don’t know what would have happened to me if she hadn’t found me,” he says. “Now I have a fresh start.”