David’s Story – In His Own Words
David is a tenant with Bishop O’Byrne Housing Association (BOBHA), one of RESOLVE’s Partners, and graciously offered to share his story with us.
I was working as a Safety Coordinator on a Northern Alberta oil and gas site in 2010 when I began experiencing a migraine and, suddenly, a complete loss of vision in my right eye.
With no warning, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. At 48-years-old, enjoying a career I was passionate about, I was suddenly disabled.
Luckily my vision returned but I was soon captured by a spiraling neurology. My body and all of its functions began seizing and paralyzing randomly. Every movement was enveloped in pain. Every attempt to venture out of my home became a crisis event.
Finding a doctor and attending to my own medical needs became beyond my capabilities. Constant pain, loss of balance, seizures and paralysis – all my symptoms prevented me from continuing to participate on an oil and gas construction site. That December, I delegated my responsibilities and removed myself from employment.
With the loss of income, exhaustion of assets and savings, the last of my belongings loaded in my pickup truck – not even knowing which direction to point myself in – I severed myself from everyone I knew, ready to die. Wanting to.
After bouncing from residence to residence for the next couple of years, I was referred to BOBHA. They provided me with a home – one that was finally safe, stable and long-term – where I could get individualized support services in order to tackle my difficulties.
In the two-and-a-half years I’ve lived here, I’ve been able to quit smoking and shed 100 of my almost 300 pounds. This has helped me to manage my symptoms and I’m now considering a return to employment (perhaps even in a small way).
A home is the foundation for stability – food, clothing, services; and this is something I know firsthand.
BOBHA and RESOLVE are literally rewriting the story of vulnerable individuals. If you are reading this, I encourage you to contribute to BOBHA and RESOLVE. You have my gratitude.
Through RESOLVE, BOBHA will retire the mortgage on Columbus Place as well as build a new, similar building for people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness.