We pray for a home every night

Courtesy: Yukon News

Belinda Gully stood up in the community hall in Fort Good Hope, seizing the opportunity to speak to the delegation from the territorial government at the community’s first housing forum.

She spoke for about 10 minutes, describing how she works as much as she can, raises two kids, and cares for her mom, all in a home that has a caved-in ceiling, ill-fitting windows and a door that doesn’t keep the wind out. 

Gully lives at her mom’s house with her daughter Abigail and son Adam. That’s because she can’t find a place of her own, and even if she could, she can’t get social housing because she owes the N.W.T. Housing Corporation $4,000. “We pray for a home every night,” Gully said. “Abigail prays for her own room, her own toy house, she loves her dolls. My son, he loves his own space too, he prays for his own room as well, our own living room, a kitchen.” Gully moved back in with her mom two months ago. Before that she’d been living at the women’s shelter in Inuvik after leaving a bad relationship. It left her homeless.

what she really wants is a house of her own. “Sleeping in your own bed, flicking through the channels on your TV. That’s freedom,” she said. “It’s your own rules. You own everything.”

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