When Paul's daughter was accepted to Red Deer Polytechnic, he decided to uproot his life in Ontario and relocate to the city to stay close to her. The bond they share is unbreakable, and he couldn't bear the thought of being far away from her as she begins a new phase of life.
Paul's life in Red Deer, however, has been far from easy. Since his arrival, he has been tirelessly searching for work, eager to find himself settled in this new city so he could also support his daughter. Despite his efforts, job opportunities remained elusive.
As the days turned into weeks and then into months, Paul's savings dwindled into almost nothing. With no permanent place to stay, he found himself sleeping in his car at various parking lots around Red Deer. It was far from comfortable.
Ultimately, he reached a breaking point and decided he needed help.
"I came to The Mustard Seed because I ran out of money and didn’t know what else to do," Paul admitted with a trembling voice.
“The staff here are welcoming. l was given a warm meal, a safe place to sleep, and access to various support programs. I feel like this is a place I could stay and be safe.”
Though he has now received essential help, unfortunately, the toll of Paul’s difficult circumstances had already taken a toll on his physical health.
"I came here already immune-compromised due to inadequate sleep and a poor diet," he says.
Not long after he arrived at The Mustard Seed, he fell ill. His symptoms included an upper respiratory tract infection and an eye infection – both of which required medical attention and prescriptions.
Paul lacked insurance coverage, and filling his prescription medications was a financial burden he couldn't bear.
Despite this setback, Paul remained determined to get better. He attends support groups and utilizes the resources provided by The Mustard Seed to improve his overall well-being. He also continues his job search with renewed hope.
“The advocate here is helpful and connecting me to useful resources. I am also in the process of securing housing and getting my Alberta driver’s license,” he says. “I am getting a better sleep here because I am in a stable environment.”
For more information about the programs and services available at The Mustard Seed, visit https://theseed.ca/services.