Working for You: family finally finds a home
They came to CTV News for help, and now a Vancouver family's two-month-long struggle to find a new place to call home has finally come to a successful close.
Single mom Georgia Brown told CTV News that she encountered painful anti-First Nations discrimination from some Vancouver landlords during her long search for a new house for her family.
Now Brown, along with her two daughters and grandchild, have found the home they were looking for just in time for their Saturday eviction, after a CTV News report prompted a social worker from BC Housing to step in and help.
"We finally are successful. We are, we really really are. It's just fantastic news. I haven't told my girls yet, but success today, success today," Brown said.
The family had been in a stressful hunt to find a new home after the owners of the apartment they were renting told them they'd have to be out by the beginning of May because new owners were taking over.
The family felt they had run into issues of prejudice.
Some landlords asked Georgia if she is First Nations, and said the apartments weren't available once they found out she is a single mom on welfare assistance.
But with the assistance of the social worker, Lu'ma Native Housing Society granted the Browns the three-bedroom home they were looking for.
The Brown family had been on the waiting list for three years, and Lu'ma says that's about average for a waitlist 5,000 names long.
Brown has said that the stress of finding a new place to live in such a short time was weighing down on her daughter Camellia, now in her last year of high school.
"Coming to school and getting my work done, I just think about, ‘oh, are we going to have a place to go?' It's pretty difficult," Camellia Brown said.
"There are endless stories," Vancouver School Board Trustee Ken Clement said about families dealing with housing issues.
"There are stories that are sad in a lot of respects because they don't get the housing, the children don't go to school."
The struggles of finding a new home have put Camellia behind in her studies, and while she will be able to walk across the stage with her friends, she won't be able to graduate.
In Vancouver, 29 per cent of First Nations youth do not graduate.
But Camellia promised that she won't become just another statistic.
"I know that I will be getting these things done, and I won't be dropping out or anything," she said.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan