Why We Exist
After losing a successful job, his home and family to mental illness, Bob lived under a cloud. The right home, with the right support, has given him a second chance. A severe anxiety attack left Bob hospitalized for seven weeks, broken and uncomfortable in his own skin. A successful businessman for 25 years, he had it all — a beautiful wife and son, a magnificent home, a Mercedes. He was the last person anyone expected to fall apart. The anxiety attack changed his life forever.
While Bob was in the hospital, his wife drained every last cent from their bank accounts and vanished, leaving him with only his car, his stereo and a chair. He tried to go back to work after his release but the pressure of his prominent position was too steep a hill for him to climb without proper support.
He didn’t eat or sleep. He wore the same dark suit to work every day for weeks and would rarely bathe. A heavy cloud of paranoia and depression hung over him. By this time he had attempted suicide on three occasions. After a year and half, he was fired.
The decrepit apartment Bob rented was filthy. He had no money, no food and was facing eviction. His sister began to fly in from Toronto every two weeks and, slowly, she helped him rebuild his life. He began seeing a psychiatrist and going to group sessions. Through his Canadian Mental Health Association support worker, he discovered Bob Ward Residence, a building owned and managed by Horizon Housing Society for tenants with mental health challenges, physical disabilities and people living below the poverty line.
“Living here has given me the opportunity to find myself again. This place has the support I need,” Bob says. His neighbours have become like an extended family. “I know Jess [Building Manager for Bob Ward Residence] will knock on my door if he hasn’t seen me in a few days and make sure I’m OK.”
“I’m grateful to have a safe place to come home to when I’m feeling overwhelmed,” Bob says, pulling out the key to his apartment and holding it up proudly. “This is my key.”