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Nick’s Journey


When I first walked through the doors of the David Busby Centre a little over 4 years ago, I was in crisis, and had little helps from any of the other community services available to me in the area. The staff, students and volunteers of the David Busby Centre welcomed me with a genuine smile, a non-judgemental place to find respite from the outside world, and, an offering to help me with anything within your ability to provide- and that gave me the time and opportunity to collect myself, and my thoughts; and to begin on my road to recovery.


It has been a long road that I’ve traveled over the last 5 years; from ending up homeless and living in my car for 4 months, to living in my van (RV) for 3 ½ years, a season in the Out Of The Cold program, to then living in a rooming house for 2 more years after that- and it has been a journey that I will never forget, or regret. As counter intuitive as it may sound, losing everything and starting all over again has had a great positive impact on my life- because it stopped the cycle. It stopped me from just going through the motions, from trying to live up to the expectations of others, and, from trying to be someone that I was not meant to be.


While I was on my journey, I appreciated the staff engaging me in helping & volunteering at the Centre, and including me in processes to influence policy change on a political level through the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness. I no longer felt alone personally, or socially- and that has had a powerful and profoundly positive impact on my leap forward towards realizing my own capabilities and self-worth, and it really helped build up the self-confidence that I’ve been missing most of my life. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have worked alongside the staff and volunteers in the effort to protect the rights and dignity of less fortunate members in our community.


True positive change comes when you make the wholehearted decision and effort to BE the change that you want to see in your life, and I made that choice a little over 3 years ago. And, with the unwavering help and encouragement of the David Busby Centre over those years, I have now moved on with a new chapter in my story… A new life in a 1 bedroom apartment of my own, starting college to pursue a dream I had to put on hold for a couple of years, moving out of down-town Barrie to be closer to family, and, creating the opportunity and ability to reconnect and restore my relationship with my 2 children.


I am not out of the woods just yet, there are still a few more years to go; but, I can see the sun’s rays glistening through the treetops now, and I look forward to every step along the way!


I sincerely thank you for all for supporting the David Busby Centre so that they can empower more people to write a new chapter in their lives.


Nick Robinson