Woman facing poverty, tragedy helped by Valley strangers
Ellen Cooper had nowhere to turn when she showed up at Open Arms
A small group of volunteers in Kentville say a home has been found for a woman struggling with poverty, health issues and the sudden loss of her sister.
55-year-old Ellen Cooper showed up at Open Arms, a volunteer organization last week. She had just been discharged from a local hospital.
“She didn’t have a cane,” said Peggy Myles, one of the volunteers. “She could barely walk, we had to practically carry her into the soup kitchen.”
Cooper says she’s from Dartmouth, where she was homeless for two weeks before her sister from Middleton intervened.
Her sister, Judith Day, took Cooper to the hospital to be treated for pneumonia.
But last week, Cooper faced a huge loss. Day came to visit her at Open Arms, but was killed in a car accident on her way home.
“I think about her every day,” said Cooper. “I didn’t get to say good bye.”
Since then, volunteers at Open Arms have been looking after Cooper around the clock.
“She’d forget about it, and she'd want to call her sister,” said Myles. “We had to break the news to her again. So she knows things are going on, but she's not 100 per cent.”
Open Arms made dozens of calls to provincial organizations, trying to find a safe space for Cooper. Finally, Thursday afternoon they learned Community Services will pay for a motel room until December, when a room will open up at the local seniors’ residence.