Steps to a Better Future – A Residents Story

They’re always steps to a better future. This is my story of my past and present. What I have achieved from living at Marillac Place. Also, what I still plan to achieve.

It all started in early November of 2007, I was only 19 years old, and I found out some shocking news, “I’m Pregnant” and not only 2 weeks, I was already 2 months. All this dramatic news was very scary and depressing. The thoughts running through my head were: How was I going to tell my family? Was I going to raise the child by myself, as a single parent? Or give it up for adoption? Abortion to me was not an option.

It took me 48 hours after I found out to tell my family and it was very hard. Just like any other parent or family member, they were angry. One of the comments made were “you’re a child having a child; your life is just beginning”. I was living at home with my stepfather as my mother passed away when I was 18 years old from lung cancer. He told me I had two weeks to move into another place after three days he told me I had 48 hours to move out and it did not matter where. I ended up staying with my grandfather, and then my grandma until I was accepted into a maternity home.

That’s where Marillac Place comes into play, my very first step to my future as a young, single mother. On November 16th, 2007, I moved into Marillac Place. I was very skeptical about living in a home with nine other women and their children. The rules they had like completing chores, a curfew, having to attend both in house and community programs affected me because I wasn’t use to living my life the way you had to at Marillac Place. The in-house and community programs didn’t apply to me until my baby was born because I was working a full time job at Tim Horton’s. On top of working a 40 hour week, I came home and complete my daily chore and doing chores was not just cleaning up after yourself, it was also nine other girls. Even though there were dislikes while living at Marillac, there also was likes. Our Maternity home was well known to people that wanted to support, young mothers and their children. A lot of donations were brought through the front doors of Marillac Place, all starting at just a box of used baby clothes, maternity clothes, baby bottles, diapers, car seats, strollers, and even up to donating money. These donations helped me prepare for moving into my own place and saved me a lot of extra costs.

On June 11th, 2008 at 10:07 am, my daughter was born weighting in at 9lbs 13oz, 19 inches long; it was the happiest time of my life. Having tears running down my face, just thinking about how much my mother would have loved her new precious granddaughter. At times I was scared because I was only 20 years old and a single mother. My own mother wasn’t here to help me when I needed support. I had a lot of support from Marillac, and Family and Children Services, but gratefully only a voluntarily agreement because of issues with my daughters father. They had some concerns and wanted to make sure my baby, was safe.

After ten months of living at Marillac I was given my chance to move into my own apartment, which was my second step to my future. This is when I moved to Monica Ainslie Place (MAP) in Cambridge. It was an individual living program, where you are still under some rules, there were programs two evenings throughout the week that where mandatory. They were about learning different parenting styles, to playing with your child. I enjoyed living at MAP, met a lot of new friends. The only tough part about it was, all my family was living in Kitchener. It was affordable home for me and my 3 month old daughter at the time. I received a lot of support from the staff at Marillac Place and from my Family and Children Services Worker. While, I was living at MAP, I was also waiting to get into low- income housing, and in October 2009, I received a phone call, and I was being offered a 2 bedroom townhouse, in Kitchener.

October 2009, I moved into my new home with my 16 month old daughter which brought me to my third step of my future. I was all settled in it was time for me to get my daughter into a good day care, so I could work and raise my family. My daughter was able to get a full time spot at a Day care, just minutes away from where I was going back to work. Now, I was on my fourth step of my future. Working, 40 hours a week and supporting my family better than I could ever ask for. There is just two more steps to my future that I am still planning on achieving, which are, completing my Early Childhood Education course at Conestoga College, and also completing a course, called Educational Assistant, working with children with disabilities.

A Marillac Place Mom

A Resident's Story

In September 2009 I discovered that I was pregnant, and made the decision to move to Marillac Place to gain the support that I needed. Throughout the duration of my pregnancy I was able to collect the items I needed for myself and my daughter from the donations brought to Marillac Place. On May 9, 2010 at 3:02pm I delivered my daughter via c-section at Grand River Hospital, weighing in at 4lbs 4oz. Although I had a relatively healthy pregnancy and straightforward delivery, my daughter was born with some medical concerns, which required her to remain in the NICU for a period of 10 days. After several tests were completed both at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener and McMaster Hospital in Hamilton, I was able to bring my beautiful baby girl home to Marillac Place on May 19, 2010. I received great supports from the staff at Marillac Place in learning to care for my daughter, who was tinier than most babies in the house. I continued to attend both in-house and community programs, including Growing Healthy Together, and attended all required house meetings. On July 12, 2010 during my Plan of Care at Marillac Place, I received confirmation that I was ready and approved by Family and Children’s Services to move out into the community into independent housing. On this day, I packed mine and my daughter’s belongings, and moved into the apartment that I had already prepared with my fiancé for our family.
I am grateful for the help and support I received during my stay at Marillac Place, as I am now able to successfully parent my daughter and move forward with our lives.

Marillac Place Outreach Mom

Current Resident's Story

I have lived at Marillac Place with my son for over seven months. Recently I was given the opportunity to live independently, however, opted to remain at Marillac as I didn’t feel ready to leave the support I receive from the staff and volunteers behind. Coming to Marillac Place gave me a second chance. Through their guidance and support, the staff gave me the confidence to believe that I could parent my son the way he deserves. They gave me the opportunity to express my feelings and concerns in an open and safe place without judging me. Living at Marillac Place I have learned many life skills like cooking, cleaning and responsibility; necessary to live on my own when the time is right. If I had chosen not to come to Marillac Place, I probably would not be parenting my son today and I would not be continuing to work on getting my education

Current Resident of Marillac Place