Windsor

Windsor 8-year-old inspires a new book on homelessness

One Day at the Welcome Centre is a book written in Windsor to help children understand the complexities of homelessness.

The book was written by Welcome Centre Executive Director Lady Laforet

Lelaina Laforet, 8, spends her extra time volunteering at the Welcome Centre in Windsor. (Lady Laforet)

Lelaina Laforet is small in stature but large in her empathy for people who are homeless, and that has inspired a new book called One Day at the Welcome Centre.

Written by Welcome Centre Executive Director and Lelaina's mom, Lady Laforet, the book is based on Lelaina's regular visits to the shelter. 

"Pretty much every PA day, a lot in the summer, sometimes on the weekends," said Laforet. "She tends to spend a lot of time in the food bank. She loves helping the women find things. She's usually generally just running around and so questions come up when she's here and she'll ask why women are here, why kids are here, why they can't find a place, why someone is still here who was here last time she visited."

Laforet said her daughter's questions blaze a trail of opportunity for their family to discuss homelessness in Windsor.

"Seeing that she really got it," said Laforet, "[I] thought maybe we could write a small kids book about it."

Lady Laforet holds copy of newly published book, One Day at the Welcome Centre (Amy Dodge/CBC)

The purpose of the book is to increase the community's knowledge of the Welcome Centre but to also give a tool for families who might struggle to have tough conversations about other families who are homeless.

Now the book is in print, Lelaina can't get enough. 

"She likes going through seeing a lot of the pictures are actually of the inside of the centre so she recognizes them," said Laforet.

All of the book sale proceeds are going back to the centre to pay for additional initiatives in Windsor.

One Day at the Welcome Centre, written by Lady Laforet (Amy Dodge/cBC)

About the Author

Amy Dodge is a video journalist currently working in Windsor.