Garage turned shelter: Saint-Antoine, N.B. man helping trio back on their feet

Garage turned shelter: Saint-Antoine, N.B. man helping trio back on their feet
If you don’t have ID, getting social assistance and a job are tough — meaning it can be next to impossible to find housing.

That’s the process Serge Rémi Parent took Ashley Perry, Mark Patterson and Jordan DeYoung to get started Friday.

Parent wanted to help those in need, so he opened his Saint-Antoine, N.B., garage as a shelter for three people who had nowhere to live but in tents.

“(The garage) is like a luxury hotel compared to where we were before,” says Perry

“I didn’t do this out of any expectations. It was just … I couldn’t see (myself) putting the car in the garage. It didn’t feel right,” says Parent. “I said, ‘No, there needs to be people in here being sheltered. ”

Parent, who was once homeless himself, says he knew the need heading into the colder months and started to house three people who didn’t have a roof over their heads.

The occupational therapist says after posting a call for those looking for a home, Steven Valdron connected him with Perry, Patterson and DeYoung.

Valdron, who also experienced being homeless before, visits those living in tents in the Moncton area, providing them with sandwiches, tarps, and other essentials to try to survive.

“They needed to be loved,” he says. “Everybody needs to be loved.”

Perry says having a roof over their heads has been a dramatic change they’re very thankful for.

“It’s definitely… life for us,” she says. “If it weren’t for here, we’d be in that tent, with snow up to our waist probably by now, really cold.”

Perry says she hasn’t had a home in three years.

The garage has a fridge, stove, and community donations inside, allowing the trio to have a warm place to go to sleep each night.

Despite all admitting drug use was in their past, they’ve been clean since moving into the garage and working on Parent’s farm house property, learning new life skills.

“I have a past, but I cleared it,” says DeYoung. “I don’t think about it. I think about the future.”

Meanwhile, Perry has a message for the next time you see someone who’s living on the streets.

“Talk to them before you judge them,” she says. “Don’t judge them before you talk to them.”
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