Community rallies to help Cambridge couple living in their van
Published Monday, October 8, 2018 4:09PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 8, 2018 4:22PM EDT
A Cambridge couple has a lot to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving long weekend.
Last week they spoke to CTV about living in their van for the past 3 and a half years.
Sandra Graham and Jerry Power, who are both in their late-50’s, say they’re unable to work. Graham was hit by a car while cycling and both have been denied social assistance. When they were evicted from their apartment three years ago, they couldn’t find anywhere to live on the $1,100 they get as part of an insurance payout.
“As a Canadian citizen, we shouldn’t be out here,” said Power.” We had a good life and we’re out here in this van. We should be living in a home like everyone else.”
The couple said they didn’t have many options.
“People say to me, well, why isn’t he working?” said Power. “We don’t have a shower. We don’t have the amenities for me to even be able to go to work.”
They say the cheapest place they found to rent was $900 which would leave them with only $200 a month to pay for food and other expenses.
Since their story aired on October 4, they’ve received an outpouring of support from the community.
Several people have stopped by their van, which is parked in a Home Depot parking lot, and have offered them gift cards and money. They also got an offer to fix their van.
A man named Doug wanted to make their Thanksgiving extra special so he paid for the couple to stay in a hotel for the long weekend.
Graham and Power have been on a wait list with the Region of Waterloo’s housing division.
They say since their story aired they’ve been contacted by Ontario Works who want to work with the couple to secure adequate housing.
-- With reporting by Tyler Calver