Born and raised in Edmonton, Karri is a single mother of two who received support from e4c’s Housing First Rapid Rehousing team for about two years, and has sustained her housing since then. Karri describes her early life as being just a crazy upbringing, “I had little ones that I took care of while my mom was a single mom and worked three jobs and I was at home raising my brother and sister.”
She imagined her own future to be filled with a great career, to have her own family and to be successful in whatever she set out to do. Karri seemed on her way, but after her third year of college, she herself became a single mom and was unable to finish school as she needed to start working. “I kind of fell through the cracks, had dead end jobs, then the spiral down with substance abuse and that whole world,” said Karri. “And then I lifted myself back out.”
Despite working hard and working lots, Karri never really had enough to have a damage deposit and first month rent for a suitable place within her budget. She and her son were living in her sister’s basement, and after the birth of her second child moved into her brother’s house. “For quite some time you’re just barely making it by with all of the expenses of having a place with all of the things that you need,” said Karri. “My friend told me about e4c and suggested that I get into any type of housing program.”
Initially Karri felt embarrassed and didn’t want to reach out. After becoming involved in the Housing First Rapid Rehousing program Karri and her kids looked at a few apartments and basement suites and were able to find a place and move in. “It wasn’t embarrassing, it wasn’t shameful to reach out,” she adds. “It was really comfortable and just gave that extra bit of support. Anything that I needed I felt comfortable about.”
Karri talked about how securing stable housing really impacted her children and how they felt about their future. “It meant a lot to them to have their own space. Just for them to have their own rooms was a big deal,” she said. “They were a lot more happier. They could invite their friends over to play. It made them feel good that we had a house… had a home.”
While Karri’s future plans may include a return to school some day, right now she’s busy working and focusing on being a mom and providing a safe environment for her children.