Shannon’s home is her anchor

When Shannon reflects on her life, she says it’s “like looking back into a big, dark tunnel after coming into the light.”

Shannon, now 43, has been battling with depression, anxiety and other co-occuring mental health conditions since she was a teenager.

“It got really bad in my early 20s,” Shannon remembers. “It just took over my life.”

With multiple suicide attempts, Shannon was in and out of the hospital. “For a lot of my life, I maintained that I didn’t need help,” she says. “But then I felt so stuck that I needed someone else to pick me up and help me.”

Shannon began accessing mental health support and found herself in an upswing. She was able to go back to work and moved in with her partner.

Then, in 2004, her mother passed away. “It was the worst moment of my whole life,” Shannon says. “I didn’t want to be alive.”

Her relationship with her partner disintegrated and they broke up. Thoughts of suicide took over her mind. She was hospitalized again for the first time in 10 years.

Shannon lost her job and became homeless. “I was trying to get back on track but it’s hard to make a real change when you don’t have a place to live and you’re just trying to maintain.”

After two years of couch surfing, Shannon found a home with Horizon Housing Society.

“This home has given me the chance to get on solid footing so I can actually think towards the future,” Shannon says. “Instead of just looking to tomorrow and wondering where I will sleep.”

Although she still struggles with her mental health conditions, Shannon says that her support worker and the programs there have helped her to build confidence, set goals, make friends and, perhaps most importantly, “feel like a person of value.”

“I could not feel more in love with life right now,” she says. “Home is like an anchor. Life can move you around but you can’t get too far with that place that’s got you staying put.”

Home is like an anchor. Life can move you around but you can’t get too far with that place that’s got you staying put.