Senior Ladies Living Together group aims to help northern Ontario women
When Pat Dunn's husband died four years ago, she knew life without him would be tough.
On top of grieving the loss, she also faced the social and financial challenges of being alone.
"I was trying to find a way to make my income go a little further and allow me an opportunity to do other things besides just pay rent," she said.
She realized she had to do two things: find a way to survive better on her income and get connected in her community.
She recently started a Facebook group, aimed at meeting people in her own area of Peterborough. Her goal was to meet other women who she may consider living with to cut down on expenses and make friends.
At best, she hoped 10 people would join the group.
"The first week I got 50 people in the group," she said. "I thought 'this is big and this a huge need.'"
After getting such a huge response in her area, she decided to expand the group to all women across Ontario, including the northeast.
"A number of ladies have joined from Timmins, Sudbury and North Bay," she said.
"We're all trying to make it and have some money left over at the end of the month."
Dunn says some women decide to move into a new place together while others offer up a spare room for rent in their homes they're not ready to move out of.
"It just makes sense from a financial point of view to share our space," she said.
Dunn says she hasn't found anyone to share a living space with yet, but says there have been success stories in her group. In one case, two women who knew each other from high school meet in the group and decided to move in together.
To join the group, search for Senior Ladies Living Together on Facebook.
With files from Waubgeshig Rice