Phil grew up below the poverty line in Winnipeg’s West End. Raised by an abusive
and alcoholic father, he spent most of his childhood absorbing beatings so
that his beloved mother didn’t have to.
His mother died when he was only 16. Needing to escape his father, Phil dropped out of school, left home, and never looked back. For years he lived with different friends, always moving and just scraping by, panhandling on the street.
It wasn’t until after a series of incidents on the streets in his early 20’s that Phil learned why his life wasn’t getting any easier. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia – an especially dangerous and tragic diagnosis for someone without a support system.
The world was a terrifying place for Phil, and he says it was “by God’s grace” he found himself at the doors of Siloam Mission.
Because of how his mental illness skewed reality, he didn’t know who he could trust – but something kept him coming back. At first it was just for meals, then for shelter, and then because he felt safe. He found a supportive community that he could trust.
Phil stayed at Siloam for just over a year. In that year, he was quickly connected with a doctor in the Health Centre who was able to help him find the right medication to manage his mental illness and begin to better his life.
Today Phil is doing well. He will always struggle with his disorder, but through regular contact with a counsellor to work through his trauma and a doctor to help manage his medications, he has all of the support he needs. Living at Siloam Mission’s supportive housing facility, The Madison, he maintains wonderful friendships and hopes to work at Siloam in the near future – “to be able to give back.”
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.