With only about a week to spare, the local Brooks family has finally found a place to live.
The Honeymoon Bay family had been served an eviction notice, forcing them out of their house by the end of April.
What made the eviction notice unique was that it was related to 13-year-old Tanner Brooks’ autism.
Try as she could, Tanner’s single mother Corry has been unable to silence him during autistic outbursts.
After a couple months of searching, and a number of places contacted, a suitable duplex in Lake Cowichan, with owners understanding of the Brooks’ situation, has finally opened up, with only about a week to spare before the family was out on the streets.
During the time that the family was unsure as to whether or not they’d end up homeless, they received a fair amount of media attention.
In addition to an article by the Gazette, the family was featured on television news segments twice. This has yielded housing and storage offers as far away as Sidney. But, the family remained intent on staying in Cowichan Lake area.
“I have my family support, and we all grew up here,” Corry said, of herself, her daughter Kourtney, and Tanner.
Another concern is that Tanner would regress if taken out of his current school system. With only three years left in school, she worried that it would take three years for him to become used to a new situation.
The search for a new home was made difficult due to the fact that they were avoiding an apartment, due to Tanner’s outbursts. Within their price range of $800/month at the most, the selection was made quite limited.
Thankfully, she said, something came up just in the nick of time.
The media attention has been important, Corry said; just as any attention brought to autism is.
“I want this story to be told, about living with autism,” she said. “I just hope that people understand what autism is about.”
Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning its symptoms vary from person to person. Tanner has a non-verbal low-functioning level of autism.
With a new home finally found, the local Elks Club has plans to help the family move in.
“It’s the least we could do,” member Pat Weaver said.
The Brooks family is well-known to Elks Club members, she said, adding that it’s the group’s mandate to help local families in such situations.
“I saw it on the news, and we thought we could help them,” she said.
The Elks Club decides upon families to help through letters and word of mouth, such as what has taken place with the Brooks family.