Starting Life Again After Leaving an Abusive Home
I’ve finally decided enough is enough and I’ve begun the process of leaving an abusive home. The only issue is I have very little income. I was putting up with the abuse as it gave me relatively cheap shelter while I was finishing my education. I can’t wait it out for a few more years, the toll on myself has become too high. Most days I wish I would disappear from existence as escape seems so far away. I’ve shifted my focus to try to work full time and move out.
I’ve been getting help Alberta Mental Health and 211. Shelters are not an option as I have a dog. I am not willing to give up my dog for weeks, possibly months as he’s my only comfort in life. He’s one of the biggest reasons I decided to leave. I’ve just started income support so that I have something until I find work. However, like most people on income support you’ll find the amount is not a lot. I was told I would be reassessed once I had a lease agreement and that they would help. I have help through Alberta Mental Health in trying to find market housing, and income support will help me with a damage deposit and first month’s rent. I am actively looking for work, had my resume reviewed professionally, sent out countless resumes over the last month and nothing. No responses from staffing agencies either.
But… I’m pretty terrified. I want to leave, but I am scared of being homeless. Without a regular decent income, would anyone be willing to rent to me? I don’t know why some people think it’s possible to ‘live the high life’ on income support, it seems impossible when the max an individual can receive is $650 a month (don’t consider this a complaint, I am so grateful to Income Support for any help). I’m worried that no matter what I do I’ll be forced to choose between the shit hole I’m at or the streets because I don’t have regular employment. I don’t have any other means of support at the moment – like a couch to surf on until this all works out. It’s just me and my dog.
Has anyone been in my situation or have known someone who has? How did it work out for you, or what resources did you use?