Dafina's Story

Dafina has been a part of the John Howard  Society for over 10 years, and during her time with the organization has accessed support through a number of our residential and employment programs and services.

“My family friend called around to some societies for housing for me. I had just moved, was new to town, and needed some help. I was 21 or 22. I was immature, a young buck. I was clubbing it a lot and had gotten busted by the cops for some things.

I went to Kingsway (CSO) and met with Alanna and Sebastian, they picked us up in a silver car. I thought they were nice. They had an apartment for me to look at, which was Miller Block. There was a lot of mice, it scared me to death in the middle of the night!

I was at Miller Block for a couple years and I made some friends. I got kicked out of Miller Block and went to a homeless shelter downtown for a couple of months before moving to Vancouver Apartments. I have lived here for almost 10 years now. In the last 5 years my life has changed, me and my mom are a lot closer. I am getting more mature, I guess. I need to dye my hair, seriously it’s getting white.

After I came out of the hospital I was way healthier. My butt got a lot bigger, I made some friends, and people came to visit me.

Now I’m in school upgrading my math skills and English. I have a job as a dishwasher for the last 3 months and I’m saving my money to visit my bother in Las Vegas.

I like cleaning and cooking at VA.  It’s a great idea to clean where you live. The garden program is important. I’m getting good at gardening and I’m proud of it. Its hard work.

Britt was great. She was on me, she helped me get a passport so I could visit my brother in Seattle. She taught me lots of things and took me to the One Direction Concert, it was the best.

I’m the most proud of working and getting A’s school, I’ve made friends at school, we go to the beach. I get to stay over at my mom’s each week. I keep notes to stay organized and I’m taking care of my health. “

In the past 6 years that I have known Dafina, she has accomplished so many things. She is always willing to try new things, challenge herself, and approaches everything she does with the best attitude, a little sass, and a wonderful sense of humour. Dafina balances school, work, family, and always lends a hand whenever she can. Her work ethic and resilience is admirable – keep up the good work D!

Sahara Chiang
Residence Manager,
Vancouver Apartments

When you meet Dafina, you quickly learn two things about her – she has an amazing sense of humor and just how much she loves her family. Dafina has taught me a lot about resilience and perseverance over the past 10 years. Life has not been always been easy for her, but Dafina has never shied away from support or given up on her goals. I am so happy to see how proud she is of her accomplishments and look forward to seeing what her future holds for her.

Alanna Parker
Regional Director, CLS