Until last September, Billie MacFarlane found herself stuck in an untenable child care situation. The exhaustion and stress took a toll. “My depression increased and I had to change medication to help cope… Being with children five and under 24/7 created extreme loneliness and resentment. A simple outing to pick up groceries or get the mail is a big deal… Grocery shopping online has become my friend.” Billie also had concerns for Sophie, then four years old, and triplets Logan, Ericka, and Naomi, then three years old, because her only other choice would be low-quality out-of-home care.
I have tried to work with my disability, however I have a lot of challenges. I was unable to do anything with my hopeless state of mind and my body. Because of this, I have lived on AISH my entire life. This can be isolating, I don’t have the means to do the things I want or buy things I may need. There’s so much I would like to have or do while I am still alive, but I am unable.
I believe poverty is the biggest barrier for people with disabilities. Poverty prevents people from a happy, healthy and positive quality of life. It can make a person feel worthless, alone and like they cannot achieve or attain the things they want to in life - or at least that is how it has made me feel.
In the recent weeks we’ve experienced unusual cold snaps and Arctic lows, I am reminded of my own suffering with Jack Frost and his gaggle of cold. A part of my life was living in the outdoors as my home. Homelessness plagued my life for too long and I realize that if I had not had the community of fellow homeless folks, I would never have survived the frigid temperatures.