A regular work day for Anna includes answering several telephone calls from various people in her community in need of help. Her clients may require emotional support, a listening ear or even life-saving assistance and intervention. Anna deals with each and every case as if she was on the other end of the line.
Only a few years ago, she actually was.
In 2000, she fled an abusive relationship and took one of her daughters with her. She was also battling drug and alcohol addiction when she decided to rebuild her life.
That’s where the L’Orignal Ontario Works office came in.
“Anna arrived at our office, she needed help, and she would say it,” remembers Julie Normand, Anna’s caseworker. “She wanted more out of life, she had goals.”
Anna benefited from a variety of programs under the Ontario Works program. For instance, thanks to funding from the Community Start-Up program, Anna and her daughter were able to leave the women’s shelter that was then their home and move into an apartment. During this time, Anna completed her high school diploma, the cost of which was covered by Ontario Works.
Her next step was Adult Education at La Cité Collégiale in Ottawa where she studied Correctional Services. Again, Ontario Works covered the costs for this program, enabling Anna to achieve her goal.
“I don’t think I would have been able to do it without the help of these people, pure strangers, when you think of it!” reflects Anna. “There’s a lot of help in a community.”
In only five years, Anna was able to conquer her addictions, provide shelter for her daughter, get proper training to start a successful career as a Crisis Intervener at Montfort Hospital, and gained custody of her second daughter as well. It all means a better quality of life for herself and her family, and through her work, she is passing her success along to others in need of help.
“I am proud of Anna!” says Julie. “She accomplished an extraordinary feat, and I am certain she will continue to grow.”