“I moved to Canada in 2014 as a refugee from Guyana. From the day I arrived, I had been on my own. I had left my motherland in hopes of building a better life here. Within the first few weeks of arriving to Canada, however, I had gotten pregnant. Although I was able to work during the first two trimesters of my pregnancy, I was advised by my doctor to remain on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy as it would be a health risk to continuing working. My child’s father was never in the picture; hence I never received any child support, and the financial assistance I did receive, was barely enough to cover the cost of my basic necessities. Since I was no longer able to work, I lost the only home I had in Canada. For the next 3 years, I was in and out of Women’s’ shelters or couch-surfing with friends. Even after the birth of my son, no landlord would rent to me because I was a single mother with a minimum wage job.

After years of struggling to find a rental property, I met a lovely couple from my Church who offered to rent out their basement apartment to me. I was ecstatic to finally have a place of my own for my 3-year-old son and I to grow in. I did, however, recently lose my new job due to daycare scheduling conflicts, meaning I wouldn’t be able to furnish my home the way I had hoped to. This is when my caseworker from Angela’s Place referred me to My Furniture Bank. When she told me about their services, I was beyond excited. Once my furniture order was placed, I had the opportunity to come in and choose my furniture alongside a representative from My Furniture Bank. She walked me through their warehouse and courteously helped me pick-out furniture that would best suit the needs of myself and my son, which I was grateful for.

Once the furniture I had chosen was delivered, I quickly began setting up my furniture. Before My Furniture Bank, I had never owned my own furniture. Once I got the furniture situated, I finally felt that this was now my own home, with my own furniture. This was one of the first times I had felt organized and happy. My son was surely the happiest as he began jumping on our sofas out of excitement. This was the first day in a long time where my son and I did not have to sit and eat on the floor. We had our own dining table and chairs, where we could have a proper, honourable family dinner for the first time. Now that I have this furniture, I will no longer feel embarrassed inviting friends over to my home.

Receiving this furniture was a game changer for me. Now that I have my home organized and safe for my son and I to live in, I can focus on going back to school and finding a new job. Son my son will be off to kindergarten and will be able to have his friends over for play dates and sleepovers. I am so grateful to My Furniture Bank for their assistance throughout this entire process and am happy to be able to share my story.

I came to know of My Furniture Bank through Angela’s Place, who were quickly and easily able to provide me a referral through MFB’s online system. Once my order was placed, My Furniture Bank contacted me to set up a delivery date, which I was glad to hear was fairly soon. I think the best part was that I had the opportunity to come into their warehouse and choose furniture of my liking and desire. Since coming to Canada as a refugee in 2014 from Guyana, I had never really had a place of my own until now. The team at My Furniture Bank was extremely helpful during this process as they courteously helped me pick out furniture that would best suit the needs of my 3-year-old son and I.

As a single mother, I had felt discriminated against for years, especially when I was looking for a rental property. After being in and out of Women’s shelters and couch-surfing for the past few years, a lovely couple at my local Church offered to rent me their basement apartment. Not only was I ecstatic that my son could finally have a place of his own, with his own room, I was beyond excited to furnish my home and make it truly mine. 

I cannot thank the team at My Furniture Bank enough for all of their assistance in helping me finally make a house feel like my home.

*This post was created by Manpreet Layal in collaboration with MFB’s client

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