Laura's Family Web Site
Laura's Family Web Site
My Family starts with my birth in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Though they account for only a small portion of the formal homeless statistics, there are many more women living on insufficient funds, with violent partners, in unacceptable dwellings, or in other fragile circumstances that are too often overlooked. They are our mothers, our daughters, our aunts, our nieces, our wives - they are our sisters -
and they remain largely invisible compared to homeless men. Susan Scott interviewed more than 60 women facing homelessness across Canada.
Part of her agreement with these women was to tell their stories in the way they would want to have them told.
With uncompromising honesty and a deep sense of empathy, Scott recounts their stories while highlighting the many underlying problems they face.
These include personal histories of abuse, addiction, and violence, as well as systemic conditions of gentrification, a paucity of affordable housing,
and a lack of social services sensitive to women's needs.
This book helped me in making my video at the same time. Well other women made their videos living in the Drop In Centre and Centre of Hope.
I would recommend that you read it "All Our Sisters" by Susan Scott
June 5, 2020
My life has taken many twists and turns and here I am living in this community again. I was born during the Calgary Stampede in a house on Child Ave on top of the hill. At that time it was part of Bridgeland and was called St George’s Heights. See the picture our house at the time both the black and white and colour version.
The area at the south end of the hill is now called Tom Campbell Hill Natural Area Park. For many years in the past there used to be a Tom Campbell Hats sign that at the top that hill. The hill overlooked Memorial Drive. All three sides of the hill were very steep and the nearest road was a block away. As kids, if we saw someone coming we could easily run away down one of the sides. At the top of the hill there was tall grass and chokecherry trees with berries to eat in the summer.
Our house was one of the few on top of the hill at that time and we could see the mountains to the west. The view to the east wasn’t much at that time except we could see the Firestone Factory with its tall tower. You can still see it there. In the Nose Creek valley we could see the CPR line. It had the Day Liner, which ran from Calgary to Edmonton twice a day. The rest of the valley had the meandering Nose Creek and farms and barns with horses. There was also the Red Top business - that's what we called it because of the red roof - it was a plant for making dog food - they used horse meat. This is the same location as the present day TELUS Spark Science Centre.
Near the creek there was also a car wrecking yard. My house was three storeys tall with blue siding and a red roof which made it a landmark for the planes coming in from the east. The airplanes rattled our house as they were turning many times a day to go down the valley to the airport just north of us at the time.
I was born in that house and lived there until I was sixteen. Then my Mom sold the house and we moved to Airdrie. I went to Bridgeland Elementary on 11A St (now Delta West Academy) and Langevin Junior High School and was there in the year that a fire burned the school down. For one month before we moved I also attended Crescent Highest High School. It was a three mile walk each day to school.
I attended the original Bridgeland-Riverside Community Centre which was next to Memorial Drive at the time, in a place now called the Calgary Rehabilitation Centre. The centre had just opened when I was six years old. I swam at the outdoor Bridgeland Pool in the park next to the ball diamonds. It was just a flat, grassy area, except for the General Hospital on top of the nearby hill.
My mom was the chef at the CNIB when it was a residence. We kids helped out many of the blind people by playing games. Once I helped a blind person to play golf, which I knew nothing about.
Now many years later I am back in Bridgeland, only two blocks from where I was born. I am living in my own apartment next to the same park area. Only now there is no more pool.
Many changes have happened to the community. I hope to get involved more as I did as a child.