Calgary woman seeks home to keep a veteran and his family off the streets
CALGARY – A homeless veteran and his partner are hoping to find a place to live together with their two support dogs before the winter.
Matthew Boone and Arwen Murphy have been living on the streets for the past year as they have been dealing with the grief of losing several close family members, but a Calgary woman invited them to stay with her for a few days while she tries to find a more permanent living situation for the couple.
“I just wanted to make sure that they were OK, because it was getting really cold,” said Corrine Catarino.
Catarino's church often reaches out to homeless people, so she invited Murphy to attended a service with her on the weekend.
After spending the day together Catarino invited them to use an empty room in her home, but when Catarino’s roommate moves in Friday the couple will have to leave.
Catarino has been calling around in search of a long-term place in Calgary for the couple to live but has not found any that allow the pair to stay together and keep their two Burmese mountain dog-Shepard crosses as well.
“We’re not looking for a handout but a hand-up would be muchly appreciated,” said Murphy. “I know we can both be successful again.”
Murphy and Boone said they each had their own businesses in roofing and steelwork before they began struggling with the deaths in their families.
Boone said he served with the Canadian Armed Forces in the the Persian Gulf in the 1990s but doesn’t like talking about it.
“I’ve forgotten everything,” he said. "I’ve done my best to forget.”
The couple spent last winter homeless but said they now face criminal charges for sleeping in abandoned houses to stay warm. Bylaw services recently took their dogs because one of them was injured and needed medical care, which the couple could not afford.
Boone and Murphy express their gratitude to Catarino for taking them in, and hope they can find a home for their family soon.
"I guess we’re just asking someone to maybe take a risk and take a chance on us. Let us prove ourselves," Murphy said.