2023 Fall Appeal Lexi

Lexi’s Story

For Lexi, childhood comes with happy memories. “I was really into singing. Singing was my thing.” Growing up in West Vancouver, Lexi performed in talent shows and as part of her high school rock band, and her home life was a supportive one. “I had a positive childhood.”

It was during her teen years that Lexi started to experience more upheaval. “My emotions as a teenager were really, really, really serious and strong,” she recalls. “And I remember my parents would try to talk to me, and I would get upset and mad and I'd cry. I remember a lot of crying.” Rather than any particular event leading her towards alcohol and drugs, she turned to substances to balance her mood swings.

Confused over how best to support her, Lexi’s parents placed her in a transitional house when she was 19—a move that came as a shock to Lexi. “I had two days’ notice; I had no idea I was leaving my family home,” she says. “So that was really hard.” Missing her high school friends and her family, Lexi worked part-time in restaurants while she learned to be on her own, and it was during this season that she started to use pills more heavily. “I spent about 10 years of my life in addiction.”

While on her own, Lexi met her partner, Matthew, and the two had seasons of homelessness as they both faced longstanding addictions. Then, after almost three years together, the couple became pregnant, and in October of 2021, their son Atticus was born. After three months as part of the Families In Recovery program at BC Women’s Hospital, Lexi and Atticus moved to The Sanctuary at UGM’s Women & Families Centre.

“When I first got to The Sanctuary, my biggest fear was not liking it as much as I loved the hospital,” she says. “But I was shocked at how nice the rooms were, how big everything was, how bright everything was. And the staff just made everything so easy: you can talk to them about anything and they don't ever make you feel bad about it or judge. You can tell that they genuinely want the best for you. All I had to do was concentrate on being a mom, learn, and get better.”

Since moving out on her own after five months of aftercare, Lexi has been able to reconnect with Matthew and build a loving family home like the one she grew up in. “One of my favourite parts of having Atticus has been watching the relationship he has with his dad, and to see Matthew being so involved. It's so sweet, seeing their bond.” 

2023 Fall Appeal Lexi

Lexi has also repaired her relationship with her parents, and they’ve grown to better understand each other. She works as a part-time Peer Leader at UGM’s Women & Families Centre, supporting staff with meal setup and giving women in the program a listening ear, and has dreams of studying Social Work, and is a few months into a Housing internship. “I enjoy being a Peer Leader, because I get to go to the floors that I used to live on. I can stay connected and meet the new moms and the new singles. It helped me when I was there, seeing other moms that had already gone through the program.”

After seasons of isolation, Lexi is appreciating her new relationships and being part of a community. “Right now, for me, staying connected to Union Gospel Mission is really big,” she says. “Even just dropping Atticus off at daycare, it's so nice to see familiar faces. It helps me a lot accountability-wise and just, you know, being happy.”

Every day, a woman like Lexi decides she’s ready to make different choices for herself and her children. Will you extend hope to them this winter?