Emergency Housing Relief

I am a young, emerging writer and editor in the Vancouver literary scene, and student pursing a double-major in English and World Literature at SFU. I love what I do, but the past two years have not been easy for me housing wise and financially. I have now hit a rock bottom, facing homelessness in the next two weeks and just as I am about to start a very stressful third year of university. I am now putting this out in the community as an urgent plea for help. My target goal is $5000, needed as soon as possible. Once I have housing secured, I will adjust the amount either lower or higher to accommodate my needs for the next few months. The money will ensure that I will have some back up funds for housing as I do my best to support myself with a part-time job.

I was removed from my home by child services at the age of 17, to escape the abuse I was facing at home. I was in my last year of high school, with ambitions to pursue English and World Literature at SFU, when overnight, I found myself seeking refuge at a friend’s place. Everything changed then. I left with $250 from my first writing pay cheque and few belongings. All the income I made that summer from three part-time jobs, I invested into university, not knowing if I would be able to pay for tuition the following summer, not knowing if anything I did with writing would turn out to support me. All I had was my writing, my passion for the communities that I worked with within the literary and academic environment. The community of poets, writers, and mentors continue to support me through my hardships to this day--they are my anchors, when all else is uncertain.

I was homeless for my entire first year of university, and I have moved nine times since then. In trying to save up for tuition fees, I was working four part-time jobs while simultaneously taking four to five courses a semester, sleeping on friends’ couches, 24-hour cafes and libraries, in the public study areas at the university, and at the Women's Centre. Many health-care professionals who hear this story have often told me that I should quit school, just take up a few full-time jobs, enough to support myself with income for food and housing, and return to my studies later. While their words are sincere, and I understand that they want to see me healthy and safe, I kept pushing. I knew that while my current living conditions were hard, I always had writing and my studies, as well as my mentors and peers to back me up when life otherwise, was not stable. Back then, I feared that if I were to lose what was most important to me, I would not have anything to keep trying for, to make me want to make things better.

And things did get better for a while. I landed my first book deal, and am now working my dream job as an Editor and staff with Room magazine. But when you are a young writer, who wanted nothing more than to contribute, share, and connect with other writers, what I didn't anticipate was the fact that people would try to take advantage of me. Without going into the details, I will say that the actions of one person has left me crippled--the reason I am low on funds, and the reason I had to flee my home with very little notice and belongings a few weeks ago.

I am now seeking refuge with a friend's family temporarily, who have been very kind and generous to take me in. Because they are going into a really stressful work time as well, it became clear that I needed to find a place on my own early. Any donations I receive will allow me to a little bit of relief with housing while continue to study this semester, find more work, and carry on with my commitments outside and within the writing community. For that, I will be more than grateful. Thank you. x

*Please note*: because GoFundMe takes a proportion of the donations, please feel free to also send donations via e-transfer at w[dot]isa368[at]gmail[dot]com or PayPal paypal.me/isabellawang799.

~ Isabella

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Isabella Wang 
Coquitlam, BC
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