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United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin – Michael House

United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin – Michael House

(gentle airy music) – I came to Michael House four years ago. I was pregnant with Aria. I had been living independently before I came to Michael House, but I wasn’t in a stable environment. – My grandmother passed
away back in October. She was pretty much mine and
my sister’s primary caregiver. I was like 14 weeks pregnant. Because of her passing, we
just couldn’t afford me, like, being pregnant. – There are many women in our community that are pregnant or newly parenting that have what we call risk factors, so one of them is usually
living in poverty. Many of them are young, or maybe have mental
health or addiction issues. It’s quite daunting if you don’t have a safe place to be and people helping you. Our job is just to empower her to get to where she wants to be and so she can make the best decision for herself and for her child. – It’s a program, so they’re not just going to
have a roof over their head, they’re gonna have a staff
following up with them. – The program is meant to start a routine and help you learn how
to live on your own, so you have chores. We’re assigned a chore every week. – You have a cook night once a week, and I didn’t cook before I moved there. I just would eat bad stuff all the time. – Budgeting. That was a major thing I went into Michael
House with problems of. I could not money manage at all. And now, it’s just like,
well, I make a budget, and then I’ll spend it
accordingly to my budget. – The nighttime staff really helped me because Aria would wanna sleep all day and then wanted to be up all night. So it was really tiring. So the night staff would
help me out with Aria by watching her so I could
get a couple hours’ sleep. – I’m going through independent learning to upgrade to be able
to get into university ’cause I do not have the prerequisites. – I’m hoping to have, well, living independently
in the community, a driver’s license, and
I’d like to be a PSW. – We rely on donations and
support from United Way in order to keep our doors open. – It really is your neighbor,
it really is that teenage mom, it really is the people who need it that are getting the funding and that are benefiting
from that donation. – We work with the most marginalized and the most vulnerable, and there’s nobody more vulnerable than an infant or a young person, a youth, and that’s who we support. And by supporting United Way, that’s where your money’s going. – I can’t even put into
words the amount of thanks that every person that
goes through this program should be giving United Way because if it wasn’t for United Way, we wouldn’t have this program and we wouldn’t have this opportunity. – I’m grateful that they are, for their support and help over the years. I’m grateful that they
have kind of helped me become the mom that I wanted to be.

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