United Way-supported family resource centres serve as a “home away from home” for so many in our community.
Not only was childcare expensive for three children, it was challenging and stressful to find a daycare that had three spaces available. Krista made the tough decision to leave her job as a hairstylist and stay home with her two girls, Lindsay and Jenna, while her son, Keigan, was in school.
“I was pretty emotional and lonely,” said Krista. “I just didn’t know how to meet other people who were also home during the days. And where I was living in Fairview there were a lot of people who didn’t speak English, so that made it even more difficult.”
While searching for a pre-primary program for her older daughter Lindsay, Krista discovered the Fairview United Family Resource Centre and didn’t waste any time signing up. She felt immediately welcomed by staff but like most parents, her first priority was having her children settle into their programs before taking care of her own needs.
“I think once I started getting into the structured programs they had, I was able to open up to more people and actually talk to them.” Programs included sewing and baking demonstrations, goal-setting workshops, other parenting workshops and even a self-defence class! A lot of the other participants – mostly moms – were those people in Krista’s community that she had difficulty communicating with because they were still learning to speak English. The structured activities made it so much easier for everyone to find common ground and shared experiences – of which, Krista says, there are many.
Staff at the Centre have witnessed a remarkably positive change in Krista as a parent and a community member over the past year. And Krista credits the Centre for improving her daughter’s vocabulary and her son’s confidence. “It’s really educational for all of us.”
Thanks to United Way donors and the Fairview United Family Resource Centre my kids have opportunities that I would never have been able to give them and I’m so thankful for that.