This is Dexter.

Dexter is a certified life coach with a diploma in addictions counselling. He is a driven, educated and spiritual individual who takes pride in helping others. However, up until recently, Dexter was described with one word:

Homeless.

“Living on the streets takes everything away from you; you have no hope and no self-worth,” says Dexter. “For those who have never experienced that kind of hardship, it can be a very difficult thing to understand.”

Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Dexter moved to Alberta to complete his degree. When his funding was unexpectedly cut, Dexter lacked the financial ability to support himself. It is a predicament he describes as going far beyond the perception that homeless people simply need to get a job.

“I am a certified counselor. I never expected I’d be living on the streets,” Dexter explains. “It can become very challenging to plug into a system that has so many additional barriers for vulnerable populations. The bottom line is, homelessness is not a choice.”

Dexter currently lives at Ambrose Place, a supportive housing facility in Edmonton that provides assistance to homeless individuals. Dexter says participating in the activities and workshops at Ambrose Place have allowed him to regain his self worth and spiritual strength.

“Living at Ambrose Place has been such a positive experience for me,” said Dexter. “These kinds of facilities are essential in providing opportunities to those who need a helping hand.”

Dexter’s goal is to complete his degree and travel across Canada as a mental health counselor helping people overcome various obstacles. For now, Dexter will continue to focus on rehabilitating himself so he can unlock the potential he forgot he had.

This is Dexter. He is part of Edmonton’s vibrant and diverse community. Learn about the various housing programs available in Edmonton.

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