A woman's struggle with life in a shelter…
I moved to Yellowknife five years ago when my boyfriend kicked me out. That is when I became homeless.
I ended up in the hospital. That same day I was sent to the Yellowknife Women's Shelter. I've been in and out for five years because I don't have enough money for rent. I have a low level of education and it is a tough life living at a shelter. It is not easy not having a home.
We have to put up with fights, arguments, lying, stealing, and drinkers. You never have your own space. It is not like being home, but we call it our home. You can't cook anything, anytime. You can't have any visitors that you want. You can't rest when you want to; you have to do chores.
Sometimes, I am 'put down' by the other residents. When I feel bad or sad I just want to drink or get high to hide the hurt - especially when I have anger in me - even when I don't really feel like it.
I ended up doing crack for a couple of years. It put me down and homeless. I couldn't work, attend school, or even be around good people. I was very distant from my family. It's hard for me to have a job or to stay in school, but I would like to change.