Down, But Not Out

An introspective examination of the tragedy of homelessness in the richest society ever to exist on Earth

Homelessness is not an accident. Homelessness is not a problem. Homelessness is a political agenda. Why else would there be so many homeless people in the richest country that ever existed on the face of this planet.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Squats (click here)

Squats are what we call our makeshift homes. When you see someone sleeping on the sidewalk and you think there are so many of us, you're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. I never slept on the sidewalk. I ALWAYS had a squat hidden away somewhere, a place to sleep in safety, to store my few possessions, to relax, to get high. So, although I was homeless in the traditional sense of the phrase, I was never without a home. If you look in the hidden places you will find that most of us are squatting in tents, in homemade shacks, in abandoned vehicles, in abandoned buildings, in culverts, in containers, under bridges, anywhere we can find to be safe, invisible and sheltered from the weather. There are a lot more of us than meets the eye. the disgrace of homelessness in our town is much worse than you could imagine. Here are some squats that were photographed by an outreach worker from Street Survivors, a program attached to Central Neighbourhood House and dedicated to helping the homeless. There is a whole industry that has been created in response to this problem. Services such as health, outreach, drop in centres, shelters, housing search assistance, legal assistance, advocacy groups and more have been implemented at a cost far in excess of what it would cost to prevent the problem in the first place. AFFORDABLE and ACCESSIBLE HOUSING.

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