You’ll find Diane most mornings and evenings knitting or crocheting in the modern lobby of the 1010 Centre – a place she affectionately calls home. She has a gentle personality, warm smile and a joyous attitude that is infectious.
Every Thursday, she faithfully attends the 1010 Centre knitting club where she shares laughter and stories with other residents. Together, they create scarves, hats, mitts and warm blankets for the homeless, and that’s not all… Diane’s also known for baking the best cookies in Calgary. Her specialties include crumbly peanut butter, old-fashioned molasses and chewy chocolate chip. She gives her cookies to the guests who are taking the bus to The Mustard Seed’s overnight shelter. “Just like the scarves and blankets, the cookies remind those who are experiencing homelessness that they are loved,” says Diane.
“I am not in a building with residents. I am living in a home with my new family.”
A terrible turn
Diane grew up in a peaceful home by the Bay of Fundy. One of her fondest childhood memories was watching the world’s highest tide come and go by moonlight from her bedroom window.
Diane’s life took a terrible turn when she was 12. Her father began to abuse her. Innocence lost and trust destroyed, Diane found trusting and safe relationships with men hard to find.
After two highly abusive marriages, Diane’s life was shattered.
After over 35 years of abuse, Diane was diagnosed with a series of mental illnesses including PTSD, ADD and Borderline Personality Disorder.
After four hospital stays in the psychiatric ward, multiple attempts at suicide and being without a home, Diane had lost hope.
With a sigh of relief, she says, “for the first time since I was 12, I am finally safe, in my home.”
The Mustard Seed saves her life
After her final hospital visit, Diane was referred to The Mustard Seed. Once Diane moved into her apartment at the 1010 Centre, she had a safe place where she could heal from years of abuse.
She lovingly speaks about so many of the staff at The Mustard Seed including Boris.
"Boris, my psychologist from the Wellness Centre, has helped me through some of the hardest times in my life while healing,” says Diane.
“He is someone I can trust and he is always there for me,” she says.
“Boris and the staff at The Mustard Seed saved my life.”
Safe at home
For Diane, the 1010 Centre is a safe refuge. “I am not in a building with residents. I am living in a home with my new family,” says Diane.
Along with participating in the knitting club, Diane’s enthusiastic about starting the exercise classes for women at the new 1010 Centre fitness facility.
Watch Diane’s story of amazing transformation.