Monthly Archives: December 2011

need. to. write. more!

ahhhh, man! ive really neglected this blog in the recent past. not intentionally but life recently placed more on my plate and left little room for writing, which i personally dont like. writing has served as a good debrief for me in the past and, with growing stresses in my day-to-day life, im starting to see that i NEED to make more time for it. hopefully i can.

the out of the cold shelter is up and running again this winter season. i was asked to take on more responsibility this year and move from the overnight position to site coordination and mornings. so now instead of staying up all night drinking coffee with guests i now wake them up(grumpy gus’s), get some breakfast in them and send them on with their day with a coffee in hand. its been an adjustment to say the least. for those that know me know that mornings are not my thing (there should only be ONE 5 o’clock each day!) but the experience of coordinating the shelter was too much to pass up.

my team at the shelter is awesome! there are 6 of us who staff the shelter. great, compassionate, funny, eclectic people who all seem to fit well together to operate things. since we have no boss we are each others boss in some ways, keeping each other accountable to the tasks we need to get done and being their to vent when things arent going as planned (this has been happening more than i like). if this is the type of communism marx dreamt about, im a fan.

jason is again a familiar face at the shelter. he splits time between us and a mens shelter in the north end of the city. when im working he comes for breakfast and coffee before heading up to grab his meds. its becoming routine again. i like that. we still talk mostly about music (death metal being his favorite) but have been getting into deeper conversations about his past and what his future looks like. his optimism in spite of all the obstacles in his life (addiction, mental illness, loneliness) has become infectious in me. the problems i have seem not so big when we talk. he also gives some pretty good advice. we are working on getting him permanently housed. wish him luck.

i made a new friend today. i love when that happens. mark is the highest functioning schizophrenic i have ever met. he has the same type of paranoid schizophrenia as john nash, the famous american mathematician characterized in ‘a beautiful mind’. he also displays (in my opinion) similar intelligence. at age 37 he owns several degrees, certificates and diplomas and just graduated from his latest college. he plans on taking some time off from studies and reading all the sacred texts of the all main religions in the world. ya know, light reading. we plan on getting together for coffee and talking soon. let ya all know how much i learn 🙂

street soccer is continuing to grow. we have a regular group of players that make it out every sunday, with new faces joining every week. the church we play at has been incredibly supportive of our program, giving us the space for free. journalism student have been coming out of the woodwork asking to write pieces on us, do interviews with our players and even come play. i was called by a journalist today from the cbc wanting to do a radio segment on us. im floored by the response from the community.

in the new year we plan on moving ahead with our new big project to create a street newspaper for homeless people to sell on the streets. we are currently building a team to shape the vision of the paper and create a medium where the homeless, poor and marginalized can have a voice and feel empowered through their contribution and gain meaningful employment. we’re amped about this idea!

alright, need to head out now. merry early christmas, friends 🙂

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