Keely’s resilience and new home finally gave her a normal life

From our 2015-2016 Report to Community.

This is the first time in her 26 years that Keely has what she calls a normal life. “As normal as it can get,” she adds.

Keely was born with several physical health problems that have worsened over the years. As a result, she uses a wheelchair and relies on an oxygen machine. Keely has also been diagnosed with four mental health disorders, including major depressive disorder.

She is the definition of resilient.

As Keely grew into a young teenager, her parents had difficulty taking care of her. She says her father became abusive and, for the next several years, she spent time couchsurfing, living in a group home and in a long-term care facility – where she experienced abuse again.

“I was trying to commit suicide almost every day as a youth,” Keely remembers. “I ended up homeless four or five times. Everything just kept going downhill.”

Things got so bad that Keely ended up in hospital. Even though her health stabilized, she was forced to stay there for four years while waiting to find housing that was both safe and affordable.

“Everyone I got to know would either die or move away,” she says. “I couldn’t even cry because the nurses thought that meant I was going to try to kill myself again. There was no privacy.”

Eventually two of RESOLVE’s Partners were able to work together to provide Keely with a barrier-free home where she would have all the support she needs to deal with her various health conditions.

“I don’t have to worry about someone walking in and hurting me,” Keely says. “I can come and go when I want to. I can cook. I can rest when I’m sick instead of being poked and prodded.”

She adds that the community feel of the building has been reassuring. “When my neighbours heard I was low on food and couldn’t get to the food bank because I was sick, they all pitched in despite having little themselves.”

Through tears, Keely adds that she feels like she’s been given a second chance at life. “I thought I’d lost hope forever but my home here has brought hope back to me. I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time.”