1006-715 Hewitson Street, Thunder Bay ON P7B 6B5
Tel: (807) 623-6420 • Fax: (807) 623-6180 • info(at)uwaytbay.ca

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Jase's Story

I have lived in poverty and have been food insecure for the majority of my life.  I was born to a poor, abusive family and experienced the full wheel of abuse: emotional, mental, spiritual and sexual. I was sexually abused by outsiders, my parents beat me repeatedly, and I was constantly berated for how much of a ‘stupid reject’ I was, which carried over into school where I had not a single friend until I started grade 9.

I was kicked out of school at 16, and couch surfed for 2 years.  To get away from my family I moved to Alberta, then to Vancouver where I started working on cruise ships. I was out of the country for almost 8 years, until a bipolar mania hit and they had to give me medical leave. Because I hadn’t lived in Canada for that long I could not get any immediate support, which meant no welfare and no doctor. 

Back in Vancouver I became lost, confused and homeless.  I had no money, no friends, no family, and I had to rely on the local shelters to stay alive.  It became a hustle just to survive. When trying to seek help people don’t really want to hear your ugly truth.  I was told I was hopeless and was refused service.  In my life I have been labelled with bipolar, OCD, ADHD, PTSD and a substance abuse disorder.  Addictions, along with mental health issues, are tough to overcome.

United Way of Thunder Bay is leading the way to a better community by improving the quality of life for all local people. By collaborating with community partners, we are leading the way to addressing social issues in our community and investing in three critical areas: Poverty, Kids and Strong Communities. Donations to the United Way are strategically invested across Thunder Bay to many vital programs and initiatives in these areas, creating a social safety net that works to achieve lasting change for our neighbours, families and friends.

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