KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – I am 23 years old, and I live at Adsum Court. I have lived here for almost three years. I moved in four days before Christmas, and it was a pretty awesome gift. Before living here, I had moved in with a relative, and before that I spent time at Adsum Centre working on boundaries and self–esteem; all things that I needed in order to live on my own.
Before Adsum helped me, my life was a bit rocky. I left home at 16 and until now, I’ve never been in a stable place in my life. I was also lacking solid support and solid relationships. Living with depression and anxiety is a struggle on its own, but without proper safety nets in place, a person can struggle with just making it day to day. Sometimes I used to wonder where tomorrow I’d be; another shelter, someone’s house, wandering around aimlessly? And now I just need to worry about keeping my self-care routine in–check and making sure my cat is happy. That isn’t to say that I don’t worry about problems I’m faced with because, of course, we all have them, but I am secure now.
Adsum Court is very different than a regular apartment complex. All the tenants here look out for each other and help each other along. It’s also nice to have someone in the office that looks out for us and chats with us. Ferne is a real treasure for Adsum.
Since moving in three years ago, I got my first game system and started a Disney movie and book collection with the help of other tenants. I have always loved reading but had a hard time finding the space to just curl up and read, with my cat of course, who I brought with me here. I also have a spot to draw, be creative, and to listen to music annoying my neighbor with my singing. (It is okay, I’m sure she secretly adores it since she adores me.)
I have grown so much here, and I have been allowed to be a mess when life gets messy. I feel grounded. I’m going back to school now and doing some Youth Speaks where I talk to schools and groups about mental health. It’s very rewarding and very helpful in my own recovery. And I have also completed a film. I came up with the concept sitting on my couch with a notebook. I am looking forward to my future and all my future progress.
My apartment is my safe place, my little hidey hole. I have learned to live alone and find peace alone, which is something that I have always struggled as I’m sure you can imagine that a young person would struggle with such things. I’m so good at living alone now that I don’t really like it when I’m not home at nights. After a long stressful day, coming home is amazing.
Thank you Adsum, for being here for me
For pushing me (sometimes pulling me)
And giving all women who reach out to you a hand to help pull them up
Thank you as well to all the help from donors who support Adsum. Without your help, Adsum would just be a pipe dream.
This story was originally published in the Adsum for Women and Children annual report 2017-2018. Republished on our site with the kind permission of the author and Adsum. Stay tuned for one more first-voice story about the Adsum experience in the days to come! And please support the wonderful residents and staff at Adsum for Women and Children.
- Freedom 60: A thank you letter to Adsum for Women and Children
- Life cycle: How I found dignity and self respect at Adsum for Women and Children
With a special thanks also to our generous donors who make it possible to pay writers such as Evelyn for their important stories.