"I never really gave myself a chance, here, it’s given me the opportunity to express myself, and realize that there is more life has to offer for me ... Before, I blamed everyone else for my problems, now (after being at Ryandale for 1 year), I see where that lead me. . . I've gotten my family back in my life now, and this place has given me the chance to realize that"
~ Current Resident at Ryandale, 2020. This individual speaks of his experience at Ryandale after spending 40 years in prison. After spending most of his life quickly relapsing into trouble with the law, he found refuge at Ryandale where he has been able to reframe the way he thinks about his life. He has now reconnected with his family and is in search for his own housing.
“This has given me a place to get back on my feet, hopefully go back to school. (…) I can do better, and this place has made me realize that is possible”~ Current Resident at Ryandale, 2021. This individual lost his job during the COVID lockdown and was unable to find another with his skills limited to the food industry. With no connection to his troubled childhood home, he was without a place to live when the landlord of his apartment decided to sell the property. He took to the streets, ending up in the Hub in downtown Kingston. Coming to Ryandale has given him this chance to get back on his feet with a safe place to live.
"I lived in a house with a few alcoholics and drug addicts for a few years before I came here . . . other than the shelter, which is run down with boos and drugs, what else is there? There's the street"
~ Current Resident at Ryandale, 2020. This individual struggled with PTSD for several years and was unable to get back on his feet with work, landing him in a shelter for the homeless in Kingston. He was referred to Ryandale shortly after and is now back on track in managing his PTSD, in contact with his family and looking for a new place to live independently.
"My brother threw me out to the wolves, and I've had three strokes. . . It's a terrible life to live, with nowhere to go, fairytales aren't suppose to end like that."
~ Current Resident at Ryandale, 2020. After working as an executive chef his whole life, he was worried about returning to the same job after having three strokes. Ryandale has helped him come to terms with his capacity and given the confidence he needed to move along.
"Henry Ford once said, experience is of the supreme value of life. If my experiences and what I have gone through can provide a perspective or guidance for others, then that is a good thing, and that is why I do what I do."
~ Dave McQueen, Ryandale House Manager