When I was 6 I was pretty well on my own, my dad took me and my sister away to Alberta, where me and my sister got abused by my step-mom for ten years, those years I had to grow up fast and learn everything on my own, and adapt to the world around me, and it wasn't easy, I was in and out of foster homes, and group homes, running away from home and getting put back in it, it was a very hard time in my life. I still have scars on my body where I look back till this day and wondered if I could have changed anything to make it different but I know it’s too late. Its time to move on and make the best of what I got.

I moved back to Ontario when I was 16 and lived with my mom for 3 years. I always new I was gay in a sense but was too scared to come out, from all the abuse and all the criticism I got over the years I thought it was best to keep my mouth shut and go along with what made everyone happy. So living with my mom, I hid it and just made life easier on everyone. I started feeling the pressure and wanted to just be myself, so I came out and told some friends and eventually I started just telling everyone. I let my mom know and at first she was cool with it.

But when the step-dad found out, he didn't approve and then she didn't. She told me it's time to go, she can’t have this. She gave me 'till the end of the month to leave. I sensed for awhile that she was feeling like it was ruining her reputation, but I didn't bother confronting her.

But the day she told me to get out, I was scared; I cried for days. I did everything I could think of to get a roof over my head.

I even started flirting with older guys to try and make sure I have a roof over my head, I started doing anything I could to put money in my pocket and stuff like that. Knowing what I was going through it wasn't easy, I didn’t have a cent to my name, but knew I needed a place to live, a place where I can rise back on my feet and make the best of it.

Then my friend started helping me and he mentioned this shelter, and I looked into and I thought to myself, there is a place where I would feel welcomed for who I am, and be able to start fresh and make my life how I want it without the criticism. Knowing that there is a place out there for me, where I can feel safe and welcomes is reassuring, and knowing I will always have a place to go!!! Thank you for having such a welcoming place for people like me and people with other situations, NO words can explain the gratitude I have, because now I know I have a place to go!!

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Housing and Shelter at YSB