Fond Memories of "Shelter" | Red Door Family Shelter

Fond Memories of "Shelter"

Nadia shares her experience as a child living at the Red Door

When we hear stories from people who stayed at the Red Door as children, we always hear about the amazing time they had, meeting new friends and sharing new experiences.  

It shows just how important your support is for kids at the Red Door, providing them a space of positivity and nourishment -  supporting their growth into strong, capable and resilient adults. Recently, Nadia shared her story with us:

“My mother and I were living at Red Door from June 1994 - August 1994. I was 9 years old. All of my memories from living at Red Door were about fun and excitement. Living there didn’t feel like a “shelter”, but more like a big family house/summer camp, because of all the love and support we were shown, and the fun I had with my friends that I made there.

It was “more like a big family house/summer camp, because of all the love and support we were shown.”

I remember the food was delicious. My favourite was the weekly fish and chips with coleslaw. I never forgot the taste of the coleslaw because it was so good. I always went back for more. I remember those days. I appreciate the fact that it was good quality food and not “hospital” type food. That added on to the family feel, because when you love someone, you make sure that they are well fed.

My best friend at Red Door was Hadassa. Her family is from Chile. I haven’t seen her since we left Red Door, but I never forgot about her. She always crossed my mind over the years. I wonder how her life is right now, and if she still remembers me. We had so much fun together. The staff were so friendly and loving to us children. I enjoyed talking to the staff as well. They made me feel loved and protected because I knew that when I was with them, nobody can harm me. That was a priceless feeling.

During the summer we would go upstairs every morning and play games and do arts and crafts. The staff taught us different arts and crafts that I always enjoyed. My favourite was colouring the sand with different colour chalk and putting it in glass to make a beautiful vase.  I made a bunch of those. They would always take us to the park, to go swimming, and we went on many trips. I enjoyed these so much. During these trips, I got to see and learn about places in Toronto that I never would have, if we didn’t go to Red Door.

Red Door is a safe haven. It sheltered me in two ways. Physically, my mother and I had somewhere SAFE to live. Emotionally, mentally and psychologically, it sheltered me as a child from the unpleasant reality that was our life situation at the time. I am happy we stayed there.  I am even more grateful that there was a place like Red Door for us to go to.”


Helping Kids be Kids

kids playing in a field

Every day more than 80 children and youth find shelter at the Red Door with their parents.   Your donations help fund programs to support kids affected by homelessness and abuse, providing enriching experiences and lasting positive memories.

Learn more: reddoorshelter.ca/programs/children

Share: