A young woman who came to the Island to find a new life and livelihood following a life-altering vehicle accident while living on the lower mainland feels she has found the perfect caring, nurturing neighbourhood here in Nanoose Bay.
Her career in social work, specifically working with children with special needs, came to an early end when she found she could no longer cope with the pain resulting from health issues related to the accident.
“I suffered from whiplash which later came back in various forms of degenerative spine and back issues. As time went on the pain grew worse and I developed fibromyalgia in addition to arthritis and spinal injuries and I found I had very little energy. I could no longer work with kids”, she says.
About seven years ago she arrived in Courtney/Comox where a friend was living to look for a place to live and work.
“I didn’t want to be too far from home, but I wanted a change”, she explained. However, her frustration grew as she found it impossible to find a suitable place to rent in that area. The places she could afford did not provide the basic amenities necessary for comfortable living in the longer term. She was equally discouraged by the rental housing market in Nanaimo which was unaffordable for someone not working.
About a year ago she found the Nanoose Bay Networking site on Facebook and after placing an ad on the site was contacted by a local woman who offered her a cabin for reasonable rent. Being a volunteer with Nanoose Community Services (NCS), her new contact also set her up with the NCS food program, providing her with monthly food cards so her nutritional needs could be met.
“I can’t thank her and the community enough”, she says. “The NCS food cards have helped me tremendously and I’m now able to eat healthier and do more for myself”.
A well- known and respected member of the community, her NCS contact was able to provide references to assist her in finding new avenues of work. Now, she is busy in the community with house sitting, pet sitting, gardening and providing home care for seniors.
“I don’t know of any other community that takes care of its own like this one”, she stated. “Kind of like in days gone past, people here care about one another. I am so very grateful to be here”.