Thanks to two complete strangers, David McDonald of Canada is one step closer to owning his own home again.
Until 2010, David owned a gas station that earned close to six figures a year. But his life took a turn for the worst with an increase in gas theft and gas prices. He declared bankruptcy and soon after lost the business.
“I literally lost my whole life after the gas station — the life that I knew then,” David said.
The losses continued with his truck and his home. The years that followed were filled with stays with relatives, an abusive relationship that left him on the streets, and even a fire that took most of his remaining belongings. Eventually, he rented a one-bedroom apartment with a stranger.
Unfortunately, the apartment wasn’t safe, so David was forced to divide his time between the apartment, a tent, and a derelict transportation trailer.
During this time, he blew a tire out on his scooter. What seemed like just another addition to his bad luck turned out to be a blessing in disguise. From the street, David noticed a woman working on her laptop outside. He asked if she would watch over his things while he walked to get a new tire, and she agreed.
The kind stranger, Kim Cormier, decided to do even more than what he asked of her. When David returned, she and her partner, Andrew Embury, offered to have him stay for dinner.
David and the couple stayed in touch, and they gave him clothing, shoes, and a solar-powered backpack that allowed him to charge his cellphone. After a while, they even offered to have him set up his tent in their backyard and use their bathroom and laundry room. This gave David a way to safely leave his dangerous apartment for good.
“They’ve been taking care of me to the point of bringing tears to my eyes,” David said.
Kim and Andrew’s kindness continued when they brainstormed ideas for a more permanent shelter for David, one that would be safe for all seasons.
As a mortgage agent, Kim got a wonderful idea from a local organization she’s in called Our Livable Solutions. They’re still in the early stages, but their plan is to create a community of tiny homes to provide for the 400 people experiencing homelessness in their Ontario community.
To make this idea a reality, the couple set up a GoFundMe page.
“We are trying to raise as much money as possible to help take the financial burden off ourselves and David’s monthly contribution from collecting aluminum cans and his ODSP [Ontario Disability Support Program] monthly housing allowance,” Kim said.
Once they are able to purchase the micro-house, the plan is to transfer it over into David’s name. As much as he appreciates what they’re doing for him, he plans on helping out as much as he can.
“I don’t want them to pay for that all by themselves,” David said. “I’m trying to do this so that I can contribute something to a better future for myself. I don’t like being homeless. I’ve been homeless now three times for three years.”
Word quickly spread of David’s story. Before they knew it, they had raised over $18,000 — a little more than they needed! David will still need to use Kim and Andrew’s house for plumbing, but this fully insulated, fireproof micro-home is just what he needs to help him truly get back on his feet.
“You have to swallow your pride when you’re homeless,” David said. “She’s done more than I can ever say thank you for.”
Even though the micro-home can be transported, David will always welcome at their house. They started off as strangers, but they’re so much more now.
“He has very good stories, and he’s just friendly and respectful. It’s kind of nice to have someone come in and out, and someone to talk to, and a friend to rely on,” Kim said. “He’s part of the family now.”
We’re wishing David all the best as he starts this new chapter! Don’t forget to share this story with a friend to encourage more acts of kindness in your community.
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