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Jenna's Story

Photo of Jenna

Growing up, I always thought I would have my own place. As I got older that seemed kind of hard, but four years ago the real journey to living on my own began.

I had achieved many milestones, such as graduating from Humber College, getting a job and volunteering at a recreation centre. All these jobs gave me confidence, while teaching me to be patient, flexible, and a better communicator. This led to my family and me talking about my potential, and what could happen next in my life.

I wanted to live on my own, but I was worried. My family told me that I was always welcome in their home, so that made me feel better. But it wasn’t really what I wanted. As a grown woman of 28 years, I wanted to move out. Thankfully, we took some time to plan and research what it actually meant to “move out.” I attended all sorts of workshops, and lived in my parents’ basement in my own apartment for a while. I learned a lot about taking care of myself and my own place. I also learned how to spend free time by myself. At first it was kind of weird, and sometimes lonely, but with my parents upstairs, I felt pretty safe and after a while, my life started to feel good. Then, surprise! My parents told me that they had sold the house and were looking at places to move! I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to lose my apartment. I like my independence, and don’t want to move back in with them!’

I connected with Zoe, the Senior LIGHTS Facilitator, who helped me find roommates. It was a little scary, because I had been living by myself with my parents really close by. Once I had roommates, we started looking for a place to live, with help from our mums and a Baker realtor. We looked really hard, and eventually found an apartment in a neighborhood we liked, and that felt safe. It’s very close to the subway so that I can travel to work and see my other friends and family, and there are lots of stores nearby. I was really happy with the place, and knew it well - I grew up down the street!

When I signed my name on the lease, I felt both happy and super nervous. Moving out was scary! But it was new and exciting as well, and made me feel even more confident and independent. Zoe and all of the LIGHTS support were really great. I was even able to apply for a start-up grant, which meant we could buy some things for the apartment that made it feel like home. OUR home.

Our apartment looks beautiful because we all work hard to keep it clean and organized. I miss my parents a lot. And I know that’s okay. I have them over for visits and I visit them too. But I really like living in my own space.

I feel very proud of what I am able to do. I don’t think I would have been able to move out so soon without the support of LIGHTS—for not only me, but my roommates too. Thank you.