All three struggled with addiction and homelessness. One tried to get into rehab, but a spot never materialized.
They shuffled in from the cold at dusk; stomping their snow-crusted boots while they entered the church basement.
Some hid their tears behind sullen looks or simply avoided making eye contact with the other mourners. In a few minutes, the Open Door shelter would hold yet another funeral for a young Indigenous woman.
“I lost three friends in two weeks,” said Lois Lafferty. “It’s unbearable.”
That afternoon, Lafferty said goodbye to her “little sister” Crystal Einish — a Cree woman who spent her final months drifting in and out of street life.