‘Happy-go-lucky’ Lorraine finds home after hardship

Lorraine is warm and friendly with an infectious giggle. She lives at Peter Coyle Place, a one-of-a-kind residence for 70 seniors living on low income. With the positivity that radiates from Lorraine’s smile as she states that she’s “just happy-go-lucky”, you would be surprised to learn about the hardship she has faced.

Lorraine was in an abusive relationship for 15 years. “It was very hard,” she says. “It’s not good to be in a relationship that knocks you down.”

It was 10 years ago that Lorraine finally worked up the courage to leave. Shortly after, her house burned down and she lost her two beloved cats. She was living with her uncle at the time, who she was very close with, so the two of them lived together in a motel.

When it became clear that her uncle needed to go into a seniors’ home, Lorraine was devastated. He was her last living relative so she didn’t know what to do. “I didn’t know which way to go or how to start over,” she says. “It just tore up my insides.”

Lorraine fell into depression and was hospitalized for a year until they found her a home at Peter Coyle Place. “I don’t know how I got so lucky,” Lorraine says. “If I wasn’t here, I’d be on the streets.”

Peter Coyle Place is managed by Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta (TPFA), one of RESOLVE’s Partners. The wait list here is often as high as 70 and the need for more of this type of housing is urgent. Through RESOLVE, TPFA will construct an apartment building where those on the waitlist will finally have a place to call home.

Sadly, Lorraine’s uncle passed away. Although she no longer has any relatives, she says her family is now at Peter Coyle Place. “You have to take the good with the bad,” she says. “Life is what you make it.”

Lorraine enjoys the activities planned for the tenants and has many friends here. She recently organized her third annual toy drive for underprivileged children. “We don’t have much ourselves, but it feels good to give back,” she says. “I never had kids myself so I wish I could see the kids opening their gifts. I wonder how they like the toy I bought. It tugs at my heart.”

Lorraine appreciates the support services at Peter Coyle Place. “Having a support worker to talk to one-on-one is the best thing,” she says. “I like knowing that there is always someone here so I’m not scared to wake up alone.

“It’s been a long road, but I’m okay.”