Ashley’s father passed away when she was a young teenager, and left her mother battling depression, and in turn becoming distant from her children, unable to give them the care they needed.
Still young and searching for belonging, Ashley ended up in a relationship with a man who was a part of her circle of friends. As time went on, this relationship became painfully abusive. It started as verbal and emotional abuse, which she coped through with drugs and alcohol. But when the abuse became physical, Ashley feared for her life. She packed what she could into a backpack and left home while her partner was at work.
In search of refuge from her traumatizing situation, she came to Siloam Mission, where she was able to stay safely in the shelter. Ashley found herself surrounded by people like her: victims of circumstance seeking a better life, which deep down they all knew they deserved.
While eating lunch one day in the drop-in, she noticed a sign that said “Art Room” – and something sparked in her. She began visiting several days a week, working through her trauma through art – simultaneously awakening a new-found passion and finding great spiritual relief.
Through Siloam Mission, Ashley now benefits from counselling – and with the support of a Housing First case worker has been living in her own place, safe from harm, for 2 years. This year, she reconnected with her mother.
She is working a part-time job while finishing her grade 12 education, and is looking forward to working full-time soon.
Ashley still finds great joy and comfort in her painting.
Disclaimer: Every story told in this annual report is real. But to respect the privacy of those in our community, some of the names, photos and personal details have been changed.