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THEIR STORY: Meet Brent, a laid-off father of three

Published Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Calgary’s current economy has changed thousands of families, many not for the better. Brent did everything he could to support his family and still became homeless. Help families like Brent’s.

"Two years ago I was laid off when oil prices tanked. I got work, but the best I could do was part-time construction. My wife was paying all the bills for a family of five on minimum wage. The same month our rent was raised, her hours were cut. We knew we were going to lose our place.

"We looked for a month, but couldn’t afford anything. We were three days from being completely homeless before I got courage to call Brenda’s House, and we were lucky a family was moving out the next day. We packed all the kids’ things and drove to a homeless shelter. That was the lowest point of my life.

"We got our own room, our own beds, we could use free internet to look for jobs and rentals… I thought we’d be sleeping on a floor in a basement until I could get a loan. Our three kids could go to school like normal. Life for them stayed pretty stable while my wife and I tried to get things back together.

"We were at Brenda’s House for five months. In that time, they helped us find a place that we’d all fit in without bankrupting us. My wife eventually got her full-time hours back and I got more steady labour work. After a year in the new place, the kids still ask if we can go back and visit Brenda’s House. We haven’t yet, but it’s good to know they had good memories of that time in our lives."