Getting back on his feet: Chris’ Story

After a serious car accident, Chris found the help he needed at LOFT’s Crosslinks Housing and Support Services.

At the age of 25, Chris was already a successful designer of call centres. He enjoyed solving technical challenges, running software simulations, and working with computer hardware. Mental health challenges and addiction were things he had never had to navigate.

All of that changed in 2004, when a severe car accident injured his brain. Chris developed short-term memory loss, depression, and bipolar disorder. He lost his job, and his relationship with a long-term girlfriend came to an end.

Chris stayed in a hospital for months before returning home. Living in his parents’ basement apartment, he became addicted to opioids and started to distrust people. “Due to my short-term memory loss, I thought my parents were lying to me,” Chris recalls. “Our relationship became so difficult that they asked me to leave.”

He moved in with some friends in Ottawa but, given his mental health challenges, it was hard for him to maintain healthy relationships. This led him to return home to his parents, where he reached a breaking point that resulted in another hospitalization. “I was constantly fighting with people,” Chris says. “I just couldn’t trust them.”

In 2008, after spending four months in a hospital, Chris moved to LOFT Crosslinks Housing and Support Services. This program assists those facing complex mental and physical health challenges and individuals struggling with addiction and/or homelessness.

Once housed Chris was able to control his addiction. “I had to learn the importance of having a routine and managing my own health,” he explains. “The life skills were also extremely valuable. I am now applying the knowledge I gained in budgeting, which was something I wasn’t concerned about before. This is the first time in a long time that I have savings.”

“LOFT gave me an environment where I can move forward,” he continues. “I have no need for drugs in my life anymore. At LOFT I have the opportunity to lead a normal life.”

 Chris also had the opportunity to build a community, which helped with isolation. “What I enjoy most are the people,” he explains. “Because of the pandemic we can’t go shopping together once a week like we used to, but we still socialize and take turns cooking dinner for everyone. I’m also glad I was offered a COVID-19 vaccine shot while living here.” 

While the pandemic brought some disruptions to the routine Chris had developed, he remains focused on his recovery. He has grown as a person, learning to make impactful decisions for his future. “I am very thankful for the support LOFT has given me,” he reflects. “Am I perfect? No. Do I do my best? Yes. Staying committed to my recovery and putting in the effort is what got me to where I am today.”


You can help make a house a home for clients like Chris

LOFT’s House to Home Fund helps provide basic needs, renovations, upgrades and other comforts of home for our clients. See what the fund needs and how you can help.