Originally from Quebec, Hélène is no stranger to Muskoka. Before finding "the job I love” at Clear Lake Village Resort in Torrance, she worked for 12 years in Bala. Her 14-year-old daughter, Simona, attends school in Gravenhurst, is a star athlete, and the apple of her mother’s eye. Sadly, due to a breakdown in her long-term relationship, Hélène has been on what’s seemed like an impossible mission: a new living situation for her and Simona.
"We’ve looked at 20 apartments since January,” says Hélène. "Everything in our area is in the $2500 range. That’s half of what I make. And that only covers rent - not utilities, food, car expenses, or any hope of saving for Simona’s college fund. Last week we saw a place in Gravenhurst that was $2000 for a basement apartment with one door, one window, and one bedroom. It feels like it’s impossible.” With rental vacancies at an all-time low and skyrocketing prices, Hélène says she felt "trapped.” She asks, "What will I do when I’m 65? I’m 50 now and don’t see a time when I’ll not have to work. I can’t ever see retirement in my future.
"You have given me a life."