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Spreading some comfort and joy

Just prior to last Christmas, Diane Buckley was supervising a housekeeping service at a work camp near Christina Lake in northern Alberta.

Just prior to last Christmas, Diane Buckley was supervising a housekeeping service at a work camp near Christina Lake in northern Alberta.

This Christmas, she’s homeless.

“I would like to go home for Christmas,” she said. “But there’s no way to go home.”

Coal Lake could be considered home for Buckley, 43. She was born on a reserve and spent time there and in Calgary before working in Edmonton as a baker. She moved up north for the job, then back home because her mother was sick.

With no room for her there, she spent her last $300 on a cab ride here earlier this year.

She has a partner, Peter, and is in contact with most of her seven children, but they are spread out across the country.

So she spends her nights at the George Spady Centre, as she tends to drink, and her days volunteering at Boyle Street Community Services, helping serve breakfast and lunch and making sure to feed and play with the resident cats.

“I feel guilty for these people,” she said of why she helps out. “They are my family.”

And they may be the family she spends her holiday with.

 
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