Rahel and her husband had to make a very difficult decision. Do they stay in Ethiopia where there is a conflict devastating the country, or does Rahel flee with her youngest daughter to pursue a better future in Canada, leaving behind her husband and their three children? As a family, they decided Rahel and Britania would come to Canada, with hopes that the rest of her family would eventually be able to follow once things were more settled.

In December 2020, Rahel and Britania arrived in Ontario. They spent the first two weeks in quarantine at a friend’s house in Kitchener, but after that they were on their own. “I had no idea where to start. I had no idea where to go or how to get things done,” Rahel shared.

After making a couple of calls, Rahel was referred to Lutherwood’s Families in Transition (FIT) program. FIT works with families in need of emergency shelter, who have dependents under 25 years of age and experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness within 7 days.

Rahel met with her FIT worker who did the intake process and had her placed in the YW Emergency Shelter. Two weeks later, Rahel received the call that would change her life. Her worker had found an apartment for her and her daughter.

Having secured housing, Rahel still relied on Lutherwood for counsel and direction. “Any time I had questions my worker would always help me, even if it was to go over a hydro bill or to understand an e-mail, she always picked up my call.”

In June, Rahel starts the Personal Support Worker course through Conestoga College, and she is looking forward to reuniting her family. “Now, I have less stress and more confidence. I would definitely recommend Lutherwood to anyone in my situation.”