Tiffany says people often consider her “one of the lucky ones”. For six years, she struggled with addiction, homelessness and hunger with no support system to turn to.
“Addictions put me in many traumatic situations,” said Tiffany. “I have never forgotten those experiences and probably never will.”
Just over five years ago, she decided enough was enough. Tired of living a dangerous lifestyle, Tiffany committed to becoming sober. Shortly after, she found out she was pregnant.
A bulletin board advertisement for Wolseley Family Place caught her eye. A prenatal support group was being offered, and Tiffany felt like it would be a good place to start for support and positive connections.
Wolseley Family Place, a donor-supported United Way organization, is a drop-in family resource centre with programs focused on caregiver/child support, food and nutrition, recreation, life skills workshops, employment support, mental and physical health and family literacy programs.
The staff at Wolseley Family Place helped Tiffany find further support groups to encourage her on her journey to sobriety. She attended workshops called “Conquering Conflict,” “Being Me,” and “Relationships,” which she says helped her make huge personal strides.
“These classes helped me grow and start healing,” said Tiffany. “I chose to become sober, but I really believe these classes and programs helped me stay sober and learn positive coping mechanisms.”
Tiffany also attended multiple pre- and postnatal programs. When she gave birth to her daughter, she was able to use the drop-in playroom, giving her some much-needed respite.
“Being a single mom, my daughter never wanted me out of her sight,” said Tiffany. “The playroom staff were very patient and supportive in helping my daughter feel safe without Mommy.”
Tiffany is especially grateful for one of the Wolseley Family Place coordinators who encouraged her to go back to school. In 2020, Tiffany updated her Grade 12 through Horizons Learning Centre. She is now almost done her first year at Booth University College to enter the Bachelor of Social Work program there. She is also in the final process of applying for the Inner-City Social Work Program through the University of Manitoba.
“Since becoming sober, I’ve known that I wanted to become a social worker to help support and encourage people the same way that Wolseley Family Place has done for me.”
Tiffany says that as difficult as her experiences have been, she will use them to educate others and continue to push herself to provide a good life for her now five-year-old daughter. She recently moved out of subsidized housing and is renting her very first house. Tiffany has also rebuilt relationships with her family that are stronger than ever.
“I have healed and continue to heal from my past traumas,” she said. “Being sober, I now have hopes, dreams and goals for mine and my daughter’s future that are obtainable, including buying a forever home one day.”
Another goal of Tiffany’s is to eventually work full-time at Wolseley Family Place. She currently works part-time with the Food Connections program there, which provides opportunities for parents to learn employment skills and overcome employment barriers in a supportive environment.
“I will be involved in Wolseley Family Place for as long as I can be,” she said. “They are like a family to me.”