Homelessness truly touches us all. This is Anita’s story.
“I had a very close family member who struggled with mental health issues and became homeless. Through support and the kindness of others I was able to find him a home.”Anita Patil Huberman, Chief Executive Officer, Surrey Board of Trade
In my community we often don’t talk about “family business”and we would definitely not talk publicly about a family member becoming homeless. I’m hoping that I can shine a light on homelessness by telling my story.
As some of you may know mental health issues can be a significant contributing factor to homelessness. For me, this person (whom I was very close to) was someone I really looked up to. A successful business man, he held several science degrees, had a family and ran his own business. By anyone’s standard an outstanding example of a new Canadian immigrant. Unfortunately his schizophrenia was never diagnosed until it was almost too late. His sense of self gradually began to change, he separated away from his family and eventually lost his home.
In Surrey, Fraser Health and Social Services did what they could, however the responsibility for his welfare fell onto my shoulders. I was able to get him into a motel and get him into the hospital for treatment. Eventually I was able to find him a basement suite and will be forever grateful to the family that allowed him to move in. I was only 26 years old at the time and this experience had a profound effect on me.
Today through my work at the Surrey Board of Trade, we are advocates for homelessness issues and are working to bring an economic focus to poverty reduction. I’m proud to show my support to the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society. If I had access to those resources when I was younger, I’m positive it would have made a lot of difference. The organizations they support truly
give me hope. Please Give so they can Give.