Building Hope, Home and Community

for men, women, and families throughout Durham Region

John's Story

I was born in Deer Lake Newfoundland in 1961. At the time I was the 4th child born to my mother and father. I moved to Toronto when I was about 11 months old with just my dad after my parents separated.

Shortly after our move my Dad was having a hard time managing the four children and working full-time so he placed my three older siblings with three of my Aunts to be cared for. Because of my young age I was placed in a foster home as no one in my family was able to look after me. I lived in that same foster home until just before my ninth birthday when my mother moved to Toronto and took me out of the home just before I could be legally adopted by the family. When I was 15 I moved in with my Aunt and met my first girlfriend with whom I had my first child. After things didn’t work out with her I met my future wife with whom I had 2 children. We divorced after 15 years of marriage and that was the first time that I experienced the shelter system in Toronto. For the next 15 years I was in and out of different shelters in the GTA and also lived with some family members for short periods of time. In the spring of 2013, after a short stay at Cornerstone I was introduced to the Community Support Team at Cornerstone. Since working with the CST I have been able to secure my own bachelor apartment with the help of a rent subsidy and worked towards completing my high school diploma: a task that I have set out to complete on 5 different occasions and now have fully completed. I feel that my childhood and much of my adult life has been characterized by instability. In the last 15 years I estimate that I have lived in about 20 different places in and around Toronto and Oshawa. Since working with Cornerstone I have been able to find some much needed stability in my life which has allowed to me to better myself by settling down and working towards my goals.

“Our client stories are provided by our clients not to promote Cornerstone or themselves but are intended to be an encouragement and a source of hope to anyone struggling through difficult circumstances.”

Executive Director

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