Building Resilience as a Father: Navigating Storms with the Aid of Rent Banks
| Brad still remembers the day his landlord told him he sold the house he had been renting for years in Cumberland. As a devoted father of three living in a small town, he suddenly found himself displaced and vulnerable, navigating the uncertainty to search for alternate housing.
To keep his young family together during this crisis, Brad made a quick decision to purchase an old trailer and a small shed for storage as it was the only way he could provide a temporary home for his children. Balancing the demands of a full-time job with his role as sole provider, he soon realized the trailer was not sustainable. It was no longer safe for his children, having endured harsh weather conditions and without a proper roof, power, or running water. He made the difficult decision for his kids to stay with the Ministry, but he continued to see them on weekends to ensure their care and stability.
After some time, the storm of crises Brad was enduring subsided when he was introduced to the Comox Valley Rent Bank, operated by the Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society. The agency helped him secure a townhouse rental, an accessible resource to renters in crisis searching for affordable housing. However, the financial burden of paying the first month’s rent and security deposit left him with no spare money to provide his family with essential furniture and bedding, all of which had been damaged beyond use during their journey.
In partnership with SPARC BC and BC Rent Bank, the Comox Valley Rent Bank also had an opportunity to provide him with a heartwarming Welcome Home Kit.1 This thoughtful gesture included a bunk bed, bedding, pillows, backpacks, a television, and essential supplies – all the necessities they required to turn their new place into a warm and nurturing home.
The first night in their new home was nothing short of magical for the children. “There was a television and air mattress all set up when we walked in,” Brad recalls, “their eyes were lighting up with joy, feeling as though it was Christmas morning.” Brad ensured that his kids had a safe home environment, and the Welcome Home Kit provided them with household needs at a time when finances were tight. Together, this collaboration became the helping hand the family desperately needed.
These essentials made all the difference for the family as they transitioned into a stable and secure living situation. The kids have since found friendships, happiness and health, and their lives have begun to bloom in the embrace of their newfound community – Brad has formed connections with his neighbours and continues to access more support and resources through the Comox Valley Rent Bank.
Brad’s journey not only exemplifies the power of resilience during an unexpected crisis, but also highlights the profound and positive impact of rent banks in our local communities.
* To protect the privacy of the individual, the name has been changed.
- The Welcome Home Kit was funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and administered in partnership with BC Rent Bank and Comox Valley Regional Rent Bank. ↩︎