Terri arrived in Vancouver on a Greyhound bus and found her way to our Crisis Program. She was coming from Toronto where she was stuck in a cycle of poverty and homelessness which lead her to be caught up with some dangerous people in unsafe environments. Terri decided that she didn’t want anything to do with street life anymore and needed the sanctuary of a new city to do that.
On top of having almost no money, belongings, or places to go, Terri had another big problem on her hands… she could barely see! Terri struggled to read papers unless she held them directly in front of her face. I think I even saw the paper touch her nose one time. We knew until this was sorted out that nothing else could be done. Top priority was to connect Terri to an optometrist which we helped to arrange. When Terri connected with the eye doctor they told her that she was almost legally blind. The doctor went right to work and within a week Terri was fitted for glasses.
Once Terri had glasses, her world really opened up. She began to read, practice journaling and coloring and working on mindfulness. Paperwork suddenly became less daunting and tasks were being completed left right and center. Terri joked that she needed to be introduced to each Youth Worker again as she saw them totally differently. We both had a big laugh that day, and her smile was contagious. All of the other girls in the Crisis Program were congratulating her and complimenting her choice of frames. Homeless people often lack access to basic medical privileges that we take for granted and it was truly lovely to see Terri be able to literally see the new life she was creating with her good choices.