It appears things are going a bit better for Marlene Bird these days after she recently moved into a home north of Prince Albert.
The Aboriginal women suffered a vicious beating in Prince Albert last June which resulted in the amputation of both her legs.
The 47-year-old Bird has been on and off the streets for much of her life and struggled with alcoholism.
After being released from hospital, she struggled to find appropriate housing staying for a period of time at the Prince Albert YWCA homeless shelter and later at a seniors’ residence.
YWCA executive director Donna Brooks says the last six months have been very difficult for Bird but she is doing better these days after finding stable housing in the small Métis community of Timber Bay with the help of a trust fund.
“In a case like Marlene Bird, you’re looking at an individual with a bunch of complex needs,” she says. “So, there’s a number of complex needs there. So you’re dealing with addictions issues, you’re dealing with the trauma that happened to her, you’re dealing with her being a double amputee. There’s so many needs there and it’s a challenge to find suitable housing.”
However, in spite of her challenges, Brooks says Bird has shown a lot of courage over the last six months including asking to have the publication ban lifted on her name in order to shed light on what happened to her.
“She’s a very brave person. She’s not looking for it (attention), I can tell you that about her. She’s not looking for it but she doesn’t want to be another statistic. She’s not afraid to tell her story and she’s not afraid to be honest about her story.”
Bird has moved into the three-bedroom home with her partner Patrick Lavallee.
The trust fund was set up after she was attacked.
Timber Bay is located about 90 minutes north of Prince Albert.
Bird’s story is also the subject of a recently published illustrated book.