Our Neighbours: Tammy

Tammy 1
I’m 45, and I was 44 the first time I found myself homeless. I was on drugs, spent my money on drugs, and then I lost power to my place. I came here to Grace House almost two months ago. And I love it here. I wouldn’t consider myself homeless, I would say that I am “unable to provide.” I don’t like not having my own place, but I really like being here. I love the people here; I like being around people. I’m grateful to be here. I’m happy to be alive. People think that homeless people are all dirty and lazy, but they could be anybody – they could be your kids. And some of them are the nicest people you’d ever meet. They’d give you the shirt off your back. So give them a chance, stop and take the time to know them. See them and not the outside of them.

Tammy 2
One of my favourite hobbies is to be outside. I don’t like listening to people’s talk. I love listening to nature, and I love the freedom of being outside – I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s peaceful. It feels calm.

Tammy 3
The next step for me is to get a place of my own and spend time with my mom and my son. As a kid, I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be a mother. I did become a mother – he’s 17 years old, and he’s a really good kid. I’m very proud of him.

We live in a richly diverse community, but we sometimes don’t see the unique and beautiful individuals and families who live in Fredericton South. Many members of our community are overlooked, some are invisible, and sometimes they are Othered. In the coming months, I want to introduce you to some of our neighbours. They are us. You’ll find our Profiles series on our website starting with the members of our LGBTQ community and continuing this month with homelessness.

Thanks to photographer and story-teller Kelly Baker: http://www.kellybakerphoto.com/