|Ellen Cuyler holds her four-month-old son, Isaiah. She's hoping to enter the welding program at Okanagan College.|
Cuyler is living in the basement of her brother's home with her 16-year-old sister, Ashley, and father, Kyme, who works out of town.
Cuyler receives the child care subsidy and is waiting for the child tax benefit, but otherwise has no income. "She's just being a mom right now," said her father.
She has graduated from high school and is hoping to enter the welding program of Okanagan College in September and get a job after graduation.
"I think Christmas will be hard because my brother just told me I'm not welcome upstairs anymore just because of family issues I guess," she said.
"It's really hard just having my dad, but it will mean the world now that I have my son. I didn't really decide to have him, it just happened, but it's all worth it. He's really good actually. He doesn't cry much and he's always really happy."
She's not sure what she will get her son for Christmas, but is thinking about a Jolly Jumper.
Cuyler was born and raised on Vancouver Island, came to Kelowna in 2001, moved to Golden and then back again. She would like to stay in Kelowna, but that will depend on where she can find work.
Money is always tight in this multi-generational aboriginal home, said the staff of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs, who have known Cuyler for about a year. She receives food assistance through the youth centre.
"The strength of this family is their love for one another and their support of each other," said club staff.