Homelessness is a phenomena which is very common in North America, I heard. I have seen it excessively in Vancouver and Calgary. The Federal Government and perhaps the municipal and provincials as well provide funds and services for the people who are considered homeless but I'm not sure what qualifies you to receive those kind of services. I am practically homeless because despite living here for years I never possessed any property and will probably will never posses one but that alone does not qualify me to receive different services that are available to homeless people. I have seen and personally seen people who simply use or abuse the service which in fact should not be available to them. These are the examples I can provide:
- Yahya, and I only name him here because I'm sure there would be no chance for him or a relative or friend of him to read this and his surname is protected, a guy from Afghanistan was a guy I met once. He uses the facility provided to homeless people in Calgary, simply because he was fucking lazy to find himself a job and pull himself together. According to The Chef, as they used to hand out, he was a drunkard. The Chef helped him with some $600 by purchasing him tools so he could work in construction but he blew it up.
- Once we were walking in Downtown with The Chef as his place is closed to The Rehabilitation Center one Iranian guy approached us. I guess he heard us talking in Persian and walked toward us with a can of Coke in one hand, a cigarette in another and earphones hanging out of his ears. He said because he wanted to keep his Internet service and that was just too much for him he decided to give up his place so he can enjoy the free accommodation and save enough for other expenses! While the short story he narrated for us in the 5 min. walk we had together can not be even 1% true(!) it truly proves that people can make up any story they want and check in to the free motel! What you have to consider here is this free motel or hotel has a very interesting rule that The Chef explained to me and I like it a lot: You enter before a certain time (09:00 PM, I guess) and have to leave very early as well (maybe 06:00 AM). So it really is not a comfortable place but many people sacrifice comfort for money!
- The Loyal is another Iranian guy that I hang out with a few times and knew him through The Chef as well and he used to spend his time in this kind of facilities and even going to the Food Bank. This guy, whom his story should be said soon is a cheap stingy bastard from Isfahan and worked for the late Zellers(!) and then got a few good positions with good companies as a professional but I'm not going to say his field as this might blow him. He even, I heard, has purchased a house now but that's how he started his life in Calgary. He kept telling me that the system offers these systems and we should use them!
|McDonald's restaurants, particularly the Downtown locations are a hang out for the homeless. Here a native woman or man (looked like a woman to me although I didn't see her or his face) was asleep when I was sitting for a coffee in a McDonald's|
- Another group of homeless people who actually are not homeless and you see a large number of them if you walk in Downtown is Native people. These guys, the majority of them, as far as I know, has their on homes on Reserve lands and travel frequently to the nearby cities and towns and wander around, drink, smoke, fight and get themselves in trouble. I have a few encounters with them which obviously none of them started by me. I have learnt, big, that I should stay as far as possible from them especially because they are in groups which is most of the time the case.
Now do the authorities know about these stuff? My guess is they do for sure but they keep the services up and running. I'm not happy about this because this is my tax money but is there anything we could do about it? Barely any!
One MP sent me letters and Christmas card a few weeks back. He/she asked me whether I think the Government is on the right track or not. I prepared a big letter and was going to send it before this past Christmas but then I changed my mind. I though I'd be better going through again and include this issue as well. Not that I hope something will happen soon but maybe this is a beginning.
(Photo, top: I normally go for my running and jogging in the afternoon. One day before Christmas I did it in the morning and found it very rewarding. This guy was asleep besides a memorial plaque or something similar to that on Bow River Pathway in Downtown. It was pretty cold but I'm sure he's fine in his sleeping bag)