On May 3rd 1999 at 6:30 am I woke up blind in one eye. At the eye doctor, they murmured Optic Neurosis and sent me to the specialist and onto other doctors . From that day on I have evolved and explored the new chapter in my life. Somewhere along the way I decided I needed to make the planet accessible and start a goal towards Accessible Food, Shelter and Companionship.
Prince George has several food banks for its' citizens and visitors' use; Most are completely accessible, no cost to the user and everyone can access. They help in many areas of life and provide a free meal with few questions. We also have an active Farmers' Market down town for home grown products!
Not only does the "Farmer's Market" have that store front above, they have an open market every Saturday of the snow free months in the courtyard of the Provincial Court building.
In the Shelter part of things, Society had anticipated that I may become temporary homeless in the first decade of this disease. The first place I discovered on that side of the street was the shelter operated by Active Support Against Poverty, ("Bridget Moran Place") a street level support center dedicated to housing in Prince George. There is one more shelter for males only ( Ketso Yoh) operated by the Prince George Native Friendship Center (NFC). For males who are in trouble with the law, there is "Activators" which is affiliated with the John Howard Society. ASAP is the more disabled friendly of the shelters available for guys, plus ASAP is for both genders.
Not leaving women out, there are a number of emergency shelters for females only. AWAC is the 24-hour emergency shelter for women and female youth. They provide support, advocacy, and referrals and ask few questions. The "Phoenix Transition House" is for women and their children in times of crises. The E. Fry Transition House is run by the Prince George Elizabeth Fry Society as another shelter for at risk women and their children. A pet program is available.
At Risk children not accompanied by adults have places as well. The "Friendship Home" is run through the PG NFC and provides long-term residential opportunities for at-risk youth, 12-18 years, who are in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development. They also provide clothing, shelter, and access to medical and educational services. All Shelters provide meals for "residents" and ASAP provides an additional public lunch during the weekends for adults. Prince George cares for the homeless and at risk population by providing free food and emergency shelter for its' citizens. MS does live in those situations as well.
Companionship is another aim of survival and that is usually accomplished by an individual drive. For those who have problems with companionship, "Peer Support" groups exist for almost every human condition in the city. Our MS Self Help Group fills the need for companionship for persons affected by Multiple Sclerosis in Prince George. MS can be a very lonely condition. No one quite understands our lives and challenges, even other MS affected people sometimes fail to understand us. We listen though and sometimes that is enough to make us understand ourselves enough to survive, balanced in Food Shelter and Companionship.
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