At the age of 14, Brittany was living with her Mom and ran away. Her friends told her about YSB but she couldn’t come because she was too young and her Mom wouldn’t consent. She started living with a friend, where she stayed for about six months. After bouncing around for over a year, she found herself at YSB’s Evelyn Horne Young Women’s Shelter, where she has been for two years on and off.
Her use of drugs is something many street youth can relate to: she’s been using ecstasy, pot and alcohol since she’s been on the street. However, she recently found out that she’s pregnant, and since then has been doing much better on all fronts.
“It can seem really hard,” Britanny said, “but you’ve got to stay strong.”
YSB has helped her with housing since she first came to the shelter. She has finally got onto YSB’s long-term housing list, because she’s expecting a child. She’s also on the waiting list to go to St. Mary’s Parenting Program, a program that believes young mothers are capable of building strong, healthy families and supports them in doing so.
Britanny has also been attending Operation Come Home’s Achievement Centre, and has completed her Grade 10. “I’ve completed grade 10! I never thought I would.” she said, smiling.
The Young Women’s Drop-In, a two-hour, after-hours program exclusively for young women at YSB’s Drop-In, has been a huge support. “Being able to go there and talk about women’s/girl’s issues openly, without having to go [one-on-one], is really nice.”
She was nervous the first time she came to YSB’s Drop-in, which is a fairly common reaction. “I was nervous,” she recalled. “I was like, who the hell are all these people?”
But she adjusted after doing her intake interview with Sari, with whom she quickly developed a relationship of trust.
What’s happening for you in the future?
“Well, once the baby is born, I’m going to look for a job, and then if I don’t find an apartment, I’ll try to get one with the Social Housing Registry.”