Others, Addictions , Family

Contributed by: Union Gospel Mission

“My youngest brother was a really nice guy. He loved animals. And when he worked, he was the hardest worker. But with the abuse in my family, both physical and verbal, my brothers never had a chance. They had no self-esteem. They became homeless at 12 and 15. It was terrible. I had to pretend everything was okay. But I knew God, and that made a big difference. I never look down upon anyone, because my loved ones were there. Those who need help out there on the street are someone else’s loved ones. Addiction or homelessness isn’t anything to be ashamed of. It’s life—it gets messy.” — Love, Your Neighbour Barb


Barb’s heart and strength has been deeply shaped by growing up in a family estranged by homelessness and addiction. With Dad struggling with alcohol, and Mom with pain medication, home was never a refuge… especially for Barb’s brothers. After they boys left, they tragically spiraled—facing addiction, and developing mental health struggles of their own.


Every day, the painful effects of poverty, homelessness, and addiction extend to a struggling person’s loved ones—but too often, the conversation doesn’t. It’s time we change that.

Love, Your Neighbour 💌 is a space for you to share your story. With your voice, we can destigmatize the conversation, and learn to love our neighbours with the kind of compassion that changes lives. If addiction, poverty or homelessness has affected your life, leave some encouraging words for those still experiencing this. #LoveYourNeighbour