Our Clients

Free to follow my heart

Blaine, a Forward Housing tenant since 2013, shares his journey of personal growth thanks to the stability he experienced since securing an affordable home.

Thank you Blaine for sharing your story with us.


“In April of 2013 I received a phone call from Bishop O’Byrne Housing (now Forward Housing) informing me there was a unit I could move into that coming June. I readily accepted. My life was about to change for the better. Much better. 

I was told the apartment was in the Bridgeland community. This too was good news as I would still be close to the Central Public Library and the Beltline Fitness Center.  Literature and fitness have been staples in my life for decades now. Through literature I am better able to understand and cope with life. Through fitness I am better equipped to live life. 

This coming June I will have been with Forward Housing for eight, more than satisfactory, years. The staff have been attentive to my needs. I recall, when in 2017 the building’s Tenant Services Coordinator saw that I was unemployed, she arranged a meeting with me to discuss my predicament. I explained that I frequently had to grapple with episodes of clinical depression, which affected my ability to work. However, I did have savings, which I was using every month to help cover my rent. I knew my savings would run out in less than a year, and I was becoming quite concerned. After viewing my bank statements, Forward generously decided that my rent could be reduced. This was possible thanks to the GAP Program, which is funded through the generosity of private donors and subsidizes rent for those paying the highest percentage of income. I was thankful for that. 

Now as a 65 year old, I am receiving senior citizens benefits and no longer need to worry about next month’s rent. I am now free to follow my heart and grow as an individual. 

I am growing. This growing has been facilitated through my involvement with the CanLearn Society. My counselor at CUPS, Julie, referred me to them. I am thriving there! In fact, this past November, I was the recipient of the PGI ( Peter Gzowski Invitational) Award. This was quite an honor. The ceremony was attended by Jane, my learning coach,  Nada, the manager and Krista, the CEO of CanLearn Society. The event was also professionally video graphed with the bright lights and all. With the award I also received a $200 cheque. It was quite a night for me!

 I am proud of this achievement; however, I fully realize I could not have achieved it without stability in my life. I would not have this stability without an affordable home paired with the efforts of Forward Housing.

I appreciate the hard work, performed daily, by the dedicated staff at Forward Housing.  THANK YOU.”