Not in My Backyard (This is a rant by the way, sensitive viewers can fuck off now)

Not in My Backyard (This is a rant by the way, sensitive viewers can fuck off now)

By adminThursday - March 23rd, 2006Categories: UncategorizedTags:,

Sorry Alyce, this is a repeat for you.

City Chronicles Part 5

I was at work this evening when one of our regulars came in (she works in a store that’s right beside us).

“Did you know there is a bunch of people who’ve set up some dome tents out back?”, she said.

I knew that there was an entire village of homeless people out back, I’d been told so by the police and I thought that this was pretty common knowledge so I assumed she was talking about our back parking lot and asked her to show me them (after shewing everyone else back to work). She pointed to the far, far back area that’s not even connected to us.

“They are coming up to our back fence and going to the washroom there, that’s what’s causing the big smell you know”, she told me, “They bike around our neighbourhood and come up to our customer’s windows and scare them, you wouldn’t want them coming up to you like that would you? They drive through your drive through. Have you called the city? We’re calling the city tomorrow.”

To this I simply told her the fact is that the city doesn’t own that lot and that if anyone calls the police for trespassing it’d have to be the owners of the property who are listed right there on the for sale sign. I told her we could call them and let them know but that`s about all we could do. She didn`t even hear what I said, because she just kept repeating how we should call the cops and the city to get rid of them.

After she was gone I had to go in the back room for a minute to calm down…it didn`t work very well obviously because I`m incensed enough to write this rant.

Move them…..WHERE?! In a city where affordable housing for lower income indivduals is non-existant and people would rather build condominiums for the new young up and coming moguls, where are you going to put a group of completely destitute people? These people aren’t those little rich kids who decided to run away in order to “get back” at Mommy and Daddy, they aren’t the fake homeless people who wear more expenseive clothes than I do. These are the truly homeless.

With the Liberal government’s destruction of the welfare system in our province, I am seeing more and more people forced out on to the street. I see it first hand as I go to work everyday. I see the poor shlep who wasn’t able to get a job before his 6 months of employment assistance ran out. I see the man who is a psychiatric out patient at Vancouver General Hospital (don’t even get me started on the Health Care system, let alone Mental Health care) is supposed to stay at a half-way house but wandered away and hasn’t taken his medication in months because he has no idea how to get back there. That’s what I see. That’s what’s become of our city filled with more and more people who have slipped between the ever widening cracks of various systems, that have been reduced to shadows of their formere selves so the government can save itself more money.

This is the part where I get to hear about how homeless people choose to be homeless. Uh huh. If that’s what helps you sleep at night, continue on thinking that. But for every person who has alternatives, there are more who don’t. People tell me there are shelters for them there are places they can go at night. No. That’s not necessarily true. For many reasons. Some shelters have designated times that everyone has to be in by. This isn’t always possible for some people to make this “curfew” if you will. Some shelters say that you aren’t able to come in if you are intoxicated or high, some people aren’t able to abide by this rule. I understand these rules and I think there are perfectly reasonable, however, these are two of the biggest reasons why people don’t go to shelters, are kicked out of shelters or are refused entry to shelters. This is why they don’t work for everyone.

The next thing I get to hear about is how “if homeless people can afford to get high/drunk why don’t they just spend it on getting a place to sleep at night?” Well for anyone who has does any serious drugs, they know that you don’t need money to get high/drunk. If you have something to barter with you can get all kinds of things…sadly, I don’t know any rooming houses that take stolen goods or other things along that lines in return for lodging…….Maybe that’s it. Maybe we need to get some old dingy buildings and let people know we are willing to take whatever they have to give us in return for room for the night….

Damn it! That’s it! Clearly we have to start a chain of “blackmarket” hotels, of course we’d have to hire people as clerks who are willing to recieve sexual favours as well because that would obviously have to be one of the forms of payment. I’m sure the government would be all over this…I could totally get funding…..