After immigrating from France, Chahid had to make it alone at 17. He didn’t know that shelters existed.

“Being homeless during the winter is kind of hard…. Like it’s cold and it hurts, it hurts your skin. If you sleep outside you die. Being homeless in winter is not good. You need somewhere to be.”

Chahid was born in France. When his Father passed away 10 years ago, his mother couldn’t handle it and wasn’t really able to take care of them anymore. Despite the struggles of the family, he and his brothers did their best to continue getting an education. After finishing high school, Chahid came to Canada and enrolled at York University, but it wasn’t easy.

“I was alone in a new country and I didn’t know how to do things myself. For a lot of things you have to wait until you’re 21.”

Some of these things include signing a lease under age 21, for which you need a co-signing parent or guardian.

“I was homeless for a year before I found Eva’s Place. You learn a lot when you are homeless. People don’t really see you as someone. When my father was alive people would tell him that he had a good son and that I was clever. But when you became homeless, they think of you differently. It’s like, ‘Look at this guy, he doesn’t do anything,’ but they don’t know about your life.”

When he first became homeless, he didn’t know that shelters existed.

“After that year without a bed, having to find food, this place is really good. Eva’s has a good spirit around and food and a bed. Also, the staff will help us do something with our life.”

It’s the basic and important things that Chahid is aspiring to right now.

“I just want to have my own things, my own apartment, my own job. That’s what you need to live, so that’s all I need right now. “

“Something I would like people to do when they see a homeless person, try to talk to them and direct them to shelters. When I am walking downtown, I see a lot of people my age outside, sleeping at the entrance of a McDonald’s. So when I see them I tell them about shelters, and tell them if you go there, they will help you.”


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