Imagine going to college and the living arrangement gets so bad living under a bridge is a better solution. Imagine going to college and sleeping on people’s floors and couches and anyplace you can find just to be off the streets and stay in school. Imagine being a grandmother trying to make a better life for yourself and your grandchild.
I met Alma while speaking at CDI College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I was honored so much that night. CDI College is starting a We Are Visible scholarship to help low or no income students get a good education. When Alma approached me I did not know she was homeless. Unless she told me she was now sleeping on her 7th couch (some were floors) I would have never known.
I have huge respect for Alma. She came to the city to make a better life for herself after Child protective services took her grandchild away. Children in child protective services are 50% aboriginal and in some communities 95%. It just messes me up that there are still places in North America (United States too) that do not even have clean drinking water. Many people would give up or get mad, Alma instead decided to educate herself to get her grandchild back and help her people.
As a little side note: it seems to me that the smart and more cost-effective move would be to help aboriginal communities get clean water and safe living conditions instead of taking children away.
Since I met Alma last week she had to move to a new ‘housing situation’ so that makes 8 couches now. I hear this is a much better place so I am happy for Alma. She has a lot of courage and a huge heart and I am honored to help her share her story.