Calgary man finds a home after a year tenting in parkades, garbage rooms
A number of agencies worked together to place Jeremy Martin in permanent housing
During Calgary's bitterly cold winter, Jeremy Martin sought refuge in parkades and garbage rooms — any place to stay warm overnight.
Now, after a year-and-a-half of being homeless, the Calgary man is settling in to a permanent home.
"It makes me optimistic, you know, everything's going to be OK," says Martin.
In December, CBC caught up with the man while he was camped out with a small heater in an apartment garbage room.
"Even inside my tent, with that heater on high, I could see my breath, couldn't feel my fingers," he said at the time.
Martin's journey from the streets to a place of his own was helped along by Dr. Kuen Chow.
The pair met while Martin participated in a dental program at CUPS.
"I was phoning housing agencies every week to make sure he was in line and he would always be promised — 'OK, it's coming, it's coming.' For him to be here now, I'm just so thankful," says Chow.
The agency that finally found Martin a home was Home Base, a program run through the Alex Community Health Centre. Alex staff will act as mediators between Martin and the landlord.
The two bedroom apartment is subsidized at $500 a month. Martin will pay the rent with his disability income.
"People who have a lot of barriers — for example, learning disabilities or FASD — those individuals really struggle with trying to find a place," says the Calgary John Howard Society's Bernadette O'Donnell.
O'Donnell says it's important that her organization and others to provide long-term support for individuals coming out of homelessness.
"This isn't something that one person can do, it takes a large group of people to team together to support that individual."
- An earlier version of this story said Dr. Kuen Chow offered dental services at the Mustard Seed. In fact he is affiliated with the dental program at CUPS.Mar 18, 2014 11:09 AM MT