Street Stories: Trevor Laboucane

Jule Asterisk
Slave Lake Homeless Coalition

The first time Trevor stayed outside was probably in Grade 7. He was running away from foster homes at the time. In junior high, Trevor said he was always ‘just running’. He stayed in friends’ backyards and also in the baseball dugouts. The school was close by, and he could just get up and go to school.

Trevor has been outside for seven months on this occasion. He was in a detox facility for six or seven months before that. Trevor has been outside for 12 years now, he estimates. They found a space for him in the Housing First program in Edmonton, but the timing wasn’t right for him. He felt his addiction take hold of him and he couldn’t even be bothered going back to the apartment. Trevor needs to be in Edmonton to take care of some paperwork, but he doesn’t want to stay there. He feels it’s a dangerous environment.

Trevor is from a northern First Nation community not too far from Slave Lake. He doesn’t want to say which one. He was taken off the reserve and into foster care when he was about five years old, and he hasn’t been back since. He thinks his mom was in residential school, and is not sure whether his dad was.

Trevor is participating in the Mat Program, since we opened on October 30, 2021. Previous to that, as Trevor describes, “There’s a camp that I’ve been honoured to be at with some other people. I give back where I can.”

Regarding Trevor’s hopes for the future, he feels his best purpose is working on the front line somewhere, with people suffering addictions. Now that Trevor knows what it’s like to be active in recovery and healing, he wants to share these skills with others.

Trevor’s last word on what he wants people in our community to know: “Don’t do as I did, but stay in school and listen to your parents. It’s not as hard or bad as you can make it seem to be. Love and cherish those close to you. Be grateful. Having humility can give you virtues.”

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