For about three months, Jeff worked as the manager of the shelter on the week-ends. Cooking for up to 200 people a day, washing dishes and serving food. A very large commitment!
Jeff received his shoes from the shelter.
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“I’m in a good place these days. The best place I’ve been all my life, to tell you the truth. But, 10 years ago, when I was in Toronto, I lived in hostels and shelters. Finding a place to stay was my biggest struggle every single day. I couldn’t break out of the cycle until I moved to Windsor about four years ago.”
“I found work at a furniture store just up the block from this shelter. I assemble furniture and do basic upholstery. I’ve even acquired some basic sewing skills. For the past two years, I’ve also been involved in delivery. We pick up furniture, say from Russell Woods, or Forest Glade or Amherstburg. It costs around $3,000.00 to have the whole set re-upholstered.”
“I work Tuesday to Friday. I still struggle with having enough food. But, the shelter here is a blessing with its meals. It helps me make ends meet.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“You can get out of poverty. Have a plan, make a goal and stick to it! I know it’s not easy, especially if you struggle with addictions. But, it can be done! I did it.”
“For me, I like work. And, I like work to be busy. It keeps me out of trouble. You won’t see me with crack or with the working girls. On the rare occasion, I’ll have a beer or two. What helps keep me in line is I think about my mother. I would never want her to read in the newspaper that I overdosed. And what the toxicology report disclosed. I’d never want to hurt her. Thinking of her helps me. I’m not trying to paint a picture that I’m an angel, mind you, but I try hard to live a good life.”
“I have no family here. They’re all in Manitoba. But, I’m doing well in Windsor. The best I’ve done all of my life. I have a little one bedroom basement apartment in the West end. I’m happy now.”