Meet Joamie

Joamie calls herself a polar bear because she likes the cold. She was born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut so winter in Ottawa brings back memories of home – especially around Christmas.

Joamie’s parents provided a loving home and with nine sisters and seven brothers she was never alone.

“Christmas was a huge celebration in our house,” she remembers. “My brother was born on December 25th so my family would invite the entire community – you couldn’t walk anywhere without running into a sandwich!”

Her life took an unexpected turn when she had to leave her hometown to escape a bad relationship. She was 48 years old and felt it was her only choice. Joamie came to Ottawa and stayed with her sister, then cousin, but it was short term. She soon found herself with nowhere to live. She struggled and turned to alcohol to cope.

This is when Joamie found Shepherds of Good Hope. She was welcomed and offered not just shelter, but support and understanding.



“In those first days I had a chip on my shoulder,” she says. “I would react quickly and lash out at people. But Shepherds still opened the doors for me.”

Joamie entered the Managed Alcohol Program and moved into supportive housing at the Oaks. She didn’t know what to expect but staff were patient. She says that she found peace, patience and resilience.

“I’ve rebuilt my life. I love it here!” she says. “I think I would be dead if I hadn’t found this place.”

With Shepherds of Good Hope Joamie feels healthier. She’s found a community (including others who speak Inuktituk), a support system, and a belonging she never imagined.


ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒋᑦ ᖁᕕᐊᓱᒡᕕᖕᒥ
(Merry Christmas)