Lorrie-Anne grew up in PEI but it wasn’t the childhood of L. M. Montgomery stories. Lorrie-Anne’s mother separated from her father when she was a baby. She struggled with mental illness for years. Finally her mother was diagnosed with bi-polar affective disorder. Lorrie-Anne was removed and placed in a foster home. She was three.
Lorrie-Anne had a learning disability and epilepsy. The other kids in the family constantly teased and called her names. Her foster father was an alcoholic and abused her foster mother. So when Lorrie-Anne was 17, she left. Like many people fleeing difficulties in small communities, Lorrie-Anne headed for Toronto. The next 10 years were a series of shelters, group homes and nights on the streets.
At 27 she met a man and they got a bachelor apartment together. Lori-Anne and her now common-law husband moved back to PEI to be closer to his family. There she had two children, a daughter and a son. Her son was blind and had a intellectual disability. Lori-Anne stayed at home to care for her children while her husband worked at Wendy’s. But then the abuse started. Her husband hit her in front of their three-year-old daughter. Lori-Anne was scared but she didn’t tell anyone for fear they would take away her children.
Lorrie-Anne started using alcohol and drugs to cope with the pain and stress. The abuse continued and her husband started seeing other women. No longer able to hide what was going on, child services put the children into foster care.
Lorrie-Anne knew she had to sober up for both herself and her children. She moved back to Toronto to get away from her abusive husband and to be near her father. She came to Homes First and staff got her a bed at Savards.
Lorrie-Anne is not scared anymore. She is stronger, healthier and more confident. She has the opportunity now to get back in touch with her children, who she has not seen in three years. Savards and Homes First have given her the chance to move forward by first giving her a safe, stable place to live.