For two months, Marie Guerrier woke up every morning in a filthy motel room to a wailing four-year-old and a closet full of clothes wet from a leaky pipe.
“It was so hard for me,” Guerrier said. “I could not sleep in the motel. I could cry, I was so miserable in the motel with my son.”
After fleeing violence in Haiti, Guerrier and her son became one of a growing number of families with children making use of homeless shelters in Ottawa when they arrived in the city in 2009. Over a one-year period from 2008 to 2009, 2,000 children had to stay in hotels or the YMCA, sometimes for months, because the city’s 64 rooms at its two family shelters were full.read more