success stories

Sue set to graduate from Bridget Moran Place

Sue, who lives with a mental illness, started using hard drugs when she moved to the Downtown Eastside around 1975. This drug use, combined with her mental illness and the fact that her children had been taken from her and put into community care, led to suicidal thoughts and a continued downhill spiral.  She lived this way for 20 years, until she came to RainCity Housing and Support Society. Read more

Fraser Street opens new doors for Barb

Barb was a practicing lawyer until 1999. Then she began to suffer from severe depression and turned to alcohol as a means of self-medication.

Barb had to find a place to live. Because she could no longer work she could not afford to live on her own, so relied on shared accommodation. Things would be fine in the beginning, but her mental illness and addiction issues would inevitably disrupt the harmony in the household, resulting in Barb being asked to leave. Read more

Chris Finds Success in Supported Housing

By the time she was 16 Chris knew she thought differently than other students. When she was 19 she had her first psychiatric episode and was hospitalized. It took ten years for doctors to work through various diagnoses before finally settling on schizo-affective disorder. One doctor described it by joking “some people have ups, some people have downs… you’re sideways!” Read more

Angela finds success in Supported Housing

A trip to the grocery store is a task many of us take for granted as part of every day living. For Angela her monthly trips to the Superstore are a testimony to a new found independence and the belief she can have control of her life. It hasn’t always been that way. Read more

The Life & Times of Joseph Mahoney

After years of travelling around Canada working odd jobs, Joseph Mahoney came out to live in BC in 1978. Originally from Guelph, he “wanted to see the other side of the mountains”. In 1974 he had been diagnosed with depression and was ‘treated’ with electroshock therapy. Then in 1976 he was hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia after an episode in which he could see and hear three people dressed in old Roman-style clothing, taunting him from a balcony in the air. Despite these events Joe continued to work and travel. Read more

Joan finds comfort at WindChimes

As a first nations woman living with paranoid schizophrenia, Joan has had difficulty finding support throughout much of her life. At a young age her father died, and after that her mother spent periods of time committed to Riverview. Joan suffered abuse from some of her other caregivers, and describes her search for help as being part of what alienated her from other first nations people. “I wanted to talk about abuse, but the natives were very strong about it, and I was very weak… I tried to slash my hand, tried to knife myself to death… they kicked me off the reserve because I was seeking help for abuse, and I couldn’t find it among the natives, so I went to the white people.” Read more