Rosedale is my home.
My name is Faith. I been living in Rosedale ever since I was 1 year old. I came there as a baby with my immigrant parents from the Philippines. I am now 60 years old. I just celebrated my birthday with my 12 grandchildren, and 6 children at my house in Rosedale last weekend.
For over 20 years I worked all around the city as a cook in various hotels, SAIT, and U of C. In 2010 I was hit while walking along 16 Ave. to the bus stop near my home by a car going really fast. The accident left me paralized from the waist down. As a result of the accident I was forced to leave my profession as a chef.
At first I was on unemployment insurance, then I was told to try and apply for the government of Alberta Program AISH since my disability was permanent, so I did. On AISH I get $1588.00 a month to pay my mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, some medication (including those prescribed ones meant to reduce the pain in my back that aren't a part of AISH health benefits program).
I currently own my house in Rosedale. At the time when I bought it I was able bodied, I had no idea at that time I would ever become disabled and unemployed. I learned that unemployment and disability can happen to anyone at any time.
To make ends meet I (along with 8 other people in my neighborhood) rent out our homes to other people with low incomes who are on social assistance. One thing good about them we never run the risk of them giving us a bounce cheque since their social assistance program pays us directly for their tenancy every month on time. They are excellent tenants! Some of them babysit the kids that go to Rosedale Elementary school, some of them work part time with the seniors at the Kerby center, some of them are students at SAIT trying to get out of poverty through getting an education. A couple of them are government of Canada employees who have yet to be paid due to the errors within government of Canada's new Phoenix system.) None of them are criminals. We know this because we did request a criminal record check prior to their tenancy being approved. Some of them are renting through Calgary Housing Co who in turn subsidizes their tenancy in our homes.
That said I am so glad that Calgary Housing Co. is building a place in Rosedale for people with low incomes to live. That way no one in Rosedale would have to leave if their income changes due to disability, illness, accident, injury or unemployment.
People with low incomes come in all shapes and sizes. You may not know the person taking care of your kids after school has a low income. You may not know the neighbor you just saw buying groceries at the store, worked hard to save every cent they have just to put food on their table for their love ones to eat and drink.
Yay to Calgary Housing Co for building in our beautiful community of Rosedale!! Keep up the fantastic work!! We need more affordable places to live in- not just in Rosedale but everywhere in the city of Calgary!