Have you ever asked yourself what it could be like to be homeless? In my job as a case manager, I have had the opportunity to systematically ask families what it is like to be homeless.

Being homeless is destabilizing, demoralizing and depressing. You have lost your base, a foundation from which to function. It becomes hard to focus. Constant obstacles chip away at your self-esteem and your healthy personality withers, disintegrates and scatters.

A family I work with shared a few words regarding this. “You begin to feel rootless,” said Antonio Hamilton.

“We both grew up homeless, and we knew that when we had a child and family, we did not want our children to have the same life we had growing up”, said Jazmine Simmons.

The family continued, “We always tried to sort out stuff on our own at first, until we realized that by ourselves, we couldn’t do much. With the help of St Stephen Housing Association my family has an opportunity. We love how the case managers are involved and they actually care about us.”

We found that having the ability to be able to speak to someone about our dreams and aspirations was helpful. You can speak to friends, but it is different speaking to a professional about what you want to do and getting that support.”

As a case manager, I find it extremely rewarding when I can contact a family and find them temporary housing, ultimately helping them move into long term housing. The personal relationships that I have built with these families have helped me grow as a person. I look forward to going to work everyday knowing that I am making a difference.