Archive for December, 2009
So who’d ever guess? I end up in a homeless shelter and become the residen’ts advocate. For whatever reason I’m the only person not afraid to stand up to abusive staff and put the flame under management’s ass to get some resident’s rights together.
I helped staged a small sit in one day…..a fave fellow resident got kicked out, and well, trying to organize addicts and medicated people is a bit of a chore so it wasn’t exactly teaming with people. BUT because I phoned the CBC and they came and did an interview, I did get management’s attention.
The trick here is not only are there the staff and management, but staff is union (B.C.G.E.U.). So it could be that in some situations residents may have to start a civil suit (the line between criminal abuse/harrassment/intimidation/ and civil is a fine one). I’m not sure how Union president Darren Walker reacts to having his brotherhood charged but I’m sure they have a lawyer or two on retainer who handles these things. The question is, do you also charge management???
It’s a strange position to be in because homeless shelters have years of public relations behind them and a law suit could put a damper on donations…but , so be it if it’s the difference between eating roast beef or chicken. Abuse is just not acceptable.
MAN i miss having my own computer!!!! Did i tell you i got conned out of it? throw a small community , non-addict in with the wolves and it’s pretty easy to be taken by a smooth talking junkie and crack head. am i growing more and more favourable towards harm reduction – YES! we’ll never beat drugs by making them illegal.
speaking of addictions, back to my licit ones – coffee and tobacco.
Homeless shelters in VAncouver and area declared it to be ‘extreme weather’ beginning last week. this means they have to accept people in despite the shelters being full. “The Mat Program” sees vinyl coded mats placed on the floor in the lounge , so all the tables and chairs have to be moved back. bags with comforters, blankets etc. are handed out and if the mat people are lucky they get a bowl of soup.
it’s crowded, the mat people are pretty hard core, but what else do you do?
to date i’m not aware of anyone being ‘forced ‘ into here by police , nor forced into jail.
and we’re how many days away from the olympics?