Victoria spent much of her childhood moving from place to place with her parents. Her younger days were unsettled and not just because of the moves. Her parents often fought and ultimately split up. When Victoria was 15, she made her way back to the city that’s her namesake, Victoria, BC.
Despite the turmoil of her younger years, Victoria managed to build a life for herself. She worked hard and focused on providing a good home for her daughter. Then, four years ago, the unthinkable happened – her daughter tragically passed away at just 16 years of age.
“My whole world turned upside down,” Victoria whispers, “I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
Victoria was blindsided by grief. She eventually turned to substance use to numb the deep pain of her daughter’s loss. Within months, she’d lost her job, her home, and her family to the horror of addiction.
“Everything just kind of fell apart,” Victoria says, remembering the moment of deep pain in her life. Victoria found herself on the streets, struggling to get by with nowhere to turn for support until she found the Victoria Cool Aid Society.
First, Victoria was provided with a tent and other life-saving supplies to survive harsh days and nights on the street. Then came a turning point in Victoria’s life when she was offered a room at the new supportive housing project at the Comfort Inn across from Topaz Park.
“I couldn’t believe it. I really didn’t. It felt too good to be true,” says Victoria.
Thanks to this partnership between Cool Aid, Our Place, BC Housing, and other local organizations, Victoria has a safe, warm home for the first time in years. She and over 60 other vulnerable men and women now have the peace of mind and stability of a room of their own, as well as hot meals, medical services, and addiction counselling.
“Family couldn’t help me. I couldn’t help myself. But Cool Aid is helping me,” Victoria smiles.
Victoria is now in a place where she can get her life back on track. “It can feel like there’s no way out,” she explains, “and then, someone comes along and gives you this and loves you. And I have people to reach out to, and everyone looks out for each other. It’s incredible.”
To help more people like Victoria, please visit coolaid.org/donate or call 250-383-1977. Stay up to date with Victoria Cool Aid Society and like them on Facebook here.