Meet Sonia
June 1, 2021

Meet Alaina

An image of Alaina

“Do you feel that? Do you feel that shift from isolation to hope? The snow is melting.

The flowers are blooming. The vaccine has begun to roll out.

We are all exhausted from the pandemic but I know there is hope and that things are going to get better.

How do I know? I know because you were there for me.

I went from a life of not fitting in, struggling with depression and anxiety, and not having a home to having a community, health and mental health supports, and a home of my very own.”

You and Cornerstone Housing for Women were there for me. You helped me move from isolation to hope.

Cornerstone literally saves women’s lives. They were there for me at my lowest and haven’t turned their back on me since.

The staff at Cornerstone couldn’t provide essential care to women without the support from donors like you. Your gift makes a huge difference in the lives of women in crisis. Would you consider making a sustainable gift by becoming a monthly donor or give a special one-time gift to help a woman at Cornerstone who is struggling with feelings of isolation find hope this spring?

You may not realize this but you help provide stability and community to many women staying in the shelter and housing residences.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I was at my lowest, I had you by my side. Thanks to your support, I was able to move into Cornerstone’s supportive housing residence on MacLaren.
I have never felt more love, and from complete strangers at that. I never really felt like I fit in anywhere, but I do now because of you. Thank you for making me feel supported and cared for. I wasn’t always alone, but for a very long time, it felt that way.

I grew up in Brockville, Ontario with my parents and brother. We lived a pretty normal life.
I got along with my dad the best, unfortunately, my mom and I haven’t had the best relationship. Struggling with depression and anxiety which my family didn’t understand, made me feel like I didn’t fit it. I always felt like an outsider.

I was asked to leave my family home in my early twenties. Since then I have lived precariously for quite some time. I moved around from Napanee, Quebec and Ottawa staying in shelters, couch surfing or living in houses with terrible landlords.

During this time, I lost two of my grandfathers, my grandmother and my dad, who passed away a couple of years ago. I was devastated. I still miss my dad deeply. It’s been extremely difficult to not have him in my life anymore. If it weren’t for Cornerstone I don’t know what would have happened to me after his passing.

I’m so grateful for their continued support. Cornerstone staff were there for me when my dad passed away, they’ve helped me through my grief and through many hospital visits – I’ve had 30 surgeries over my life time.

My therapist, friends, and Cornerstone Housing for Women have been major supports throughout my journey. I’m grateful for each of them. I’m grateful you have also been there by my side. I stayed at Cornerstone’s shelter twice in the last five years.

Out of all the shelters I have been in and out of, Cornerstone is so much more than just a shelter! They provide services with dignity and without judgement.

I remember the second time I stayed I was lucky enough to get a room of my own. It was then the staff asked if I would like to visit one of their supportive housing residences, MacLaren, – they thought I would be a good fit.

When I first walked into my own space, into my own room, into my own home at MacLaren Residence – I loved it.

There was a real sense of community. They welcomed me without judgement.

They were supportive of my health and mental health issues. Nicola, the Program Manager, is fantastic. She goes above and beyond for everyone who lives there and even people who don’t.
My first Christmas there was amazing – probably the best Christmas I ever had. I received gifts from complete strangers! Holidays can often be lonely if you’re at the shelter or don’t have loved ones.

Some women will be participating in Ramadan until May this year and your donation could help staff provide something special for them.

Please consider giving a special gift today and give hope to a woman in need. It’s donors like you that can truly make holidays special.

The MacLaren home gave me the support and compassion I needed to feel like I belonged. I truly felt like I fit in and found myself. I truly felt like I fit in and found myself. Its staff, volunteers, and community that make a supportive housing truly supportive.

For the first time in my life I don’t feel judged for having mental health issues. People who have mental health issues are often stigmatized.

With you by our side, I know we can end this stigma. It makes it so difficult to heal when you are left to struggle alone and are judged for having mental health issues. Everyone deals with something we know nothing about. It’s the kindness from strangers like you that can help end this stigma and give hope to women like me.

Small things like having dinner made for you make healing so much easier. If it weren’t for the stability offered by this housing, healing would have been a lot more difficult.

Becoming a monthly donor makes a huge difference to providing routine and comfort for those of us struggling with our mental health.

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