Troy’s Homeless Story for Homelessness Action Week 2018

October 7, 2018

Troy, a member of Diverse Organization Providing Education and Regional Services (DOPERS) in Langley shares his homeless experiences during an interview for Homelessness Action Week

Oct. 7-13 is Homelessness Action Week in British Columbia

Please scroll down to read full transcript of the video!



Nancy – Hi! I’m Nancy. I’m with Diverse Organization Providing Education + Regional Services. I’m here asking some questions for the Homelessness Action Week…we want  stories of our members.

Nancy – What’s your name?

Troy – Troy

Nancy – Do you have any Nicknames?

Troy – No

Nancy – How old are you?

Troy – I’m 49

Nancy – Where’s your hometown? Where are you from?

Troy – I was born in Prince George

Nancy – What city do you mostly stay in?

Troy – Lately it has been in Surrey/Langley and I spent a lot of time growing up in the federal prison system

Nancy -Are you homeless?

Troy – I am..although I am staying in a shelter.

Nancy – How did that start?

Troy – It started when I got out of jail…I did not have enough money nor did I pass any of the interviews for some of the places I was trying to rent.

Nancy – How Long Have You been Homeless?

Troy – About a year now

Nancy –  What did you do before you came here?

Troy – For the most part, I’ve been in prison most of my life if you can believe it…I’ve served 22 years Federal but since the last few years I’ve decided…you know I’ve had enough of that…I’d rather be free in the gutter rather than locked up like an animal.

Nancy – What do you notice about this city?

Troy – About Langley? I notice that there’s a lot of homeless people, a huge amount of homeless people…very little service. Some of the looks I get…I don’t know…is it that obvious? That I’m homeless…that I’m an addict?

Nancy – How hard is it to be homeless?

Troy – The people you’re with..the theft from each other…I can’t stand it..I just wish I had a home….work from there…try and prove to my family…that I’m not a bad person…

Nancy – Where do you live right now?

Troy – I’m staying in a shelter

Nancy – Where do you sleep at night?

Troy – Shelter

Nancy – Do you feel safe on the streets?

Troy – Not so much in the community

Nancy – Do you have any family?

Troy – Yeah..they don’t want much to do with me tho

Nancy – How would you describe your feelings about being homeless?

Troy – I feel like a failure

Nancy – How do you do you make money? How do you get money to feed yourself?

Troy – Well as I said…I live in a shelter…I’m not hungry but I have been in the past…I would steal and I get a bit of money from the government…not enough to rent a place or anything

Nancy – Does sleeping where you are and the way you are make it hard to get a job?

Troy – Yeah it last two phones got stolen so I don’t have a phone….that’s a big one…have to have a phone..for the trade I’m in… need a car too.

Nancy – Is Social Services help you find a place to live?

Troy – No, not at all…

Nancy – What do you look forward to each day? What keeps you going?

Troy – Nothing…just repetition I guess.

Nancy – Have you been living in an tent?

Troy – I’ve done the odd week

Nancy – What is the biggest roadblock to finding a place to live?

Troy – Places that are willing to rent to a person like me, so availability is a huge thing and income…my income is too low.

Nancy – What is the most challenging part of the day?

Troy – When I’m not busy I think…I think about what I don’t have…and I think about how I’m going to live… A lot

Nancy – Are you connected with other homeless people in this area?

Troy – yeah

Nancy – Is there a sense of community within the homeless population? Do you help each other ?

Troy – Some of them do and some of them victimize them….some people are homeless and they will give you anything you ask for if they have it…and that’s probably one of the things that keep me going…is people like that…people like you guys.

Nancy – Can you tell us something about yourself that no one knows about you?

Troy – My favorite color is blue.

Nancy – What’s the worst perception people have of the homeless?

Troy – That we don’t try..that we’re useless

Nancy – What do you miss most?

Troy – My family..being a man who had a family you know…I don’t have any kids…it hurts…

Nancy – What needs to be done for the homeless? What do the homeless need?

Troy – They need to be living in safe homes…there needs to be a couple blocks of city…here you go. We need our politicians to actually do the things that they say they want to do….they so do not do that. I know it’s hard…it’s a huge issue…but there is so much that could be done so easily.

Nancy – Are there places to go during the day?

Troy – Langley has nothing in terms of feeding their homeless…it’s pathetic

Nancy – What would have changed your life?

Troy – Having a father probably would have changed…Having a mother who knew how to be a parent…you know I love my mom…but yeah just having a family

Nancy – What would help you overcome your challenges?

Troy – Having a job and a place to live again and my addiction would have to be a little bit more under control which it is now…I’ve gotten a lot more healthier over the past few months.

Nancy – What is your drug of choice?

Troy –  I love heroin. I love cocaine. I love speed.

Nancy – What do they do for you?

Troy – They give me energy…they take away the pain…they make you feel warm for a minute

Nancy – What is the highlight of the day?

Troy – I don’t know

Nancy – What are some stressful situations that you encounter on a daily basis?

Troy – Having no money to do things…you want to go for coffee or something…you can’t..but it’s really hard sometimes…going back to jail…at least I have a place to live.

Nancy – How do you stay healthy?

Troy – Try to eat everyday and sleep everyday

Nancy – How do you keep safe?

Troy – I don’t do things that would cause me…that would cause other people to want to harm me..I take advantage of safe injection site when I’m using….and being in a shelter …not being on the streets all night helps too.

Nancy – Do you have any beliefs you live by?

Troy – Treat people the way you want to be treated.

Nancy – What is the best part of your day?

Troy – When I go to sleep.

Nancy – Do you think people really want to solve the homelessness issue?

Troy – Some people do.

Nancy – What does the future look like? What are your hopes and wishes for you?

Troy – Get a place to live that’s affordable

Nancy – Where do you keep your belongings?

Troy – For the most part, I carry a lot on me or in the locker.

Nancy – What was your last steady job?

Troy – Last Winter I cooked for a few months

Nancy – When was the last time they slept in a bed, not a shelter?

Troy – In a recovery house…which is not really a home.

Nancy – Can you give me one sentence to sum up your current situation?

Troy – I want to do everything I can to spread the word to try and help others who have a hard time talking and speaking up.

Nancy – If you could tell your story to Premier Horgan or Prime Minister Trudeau, what would you say?

Troy – Care about the people who are the smallest, not the biggest

Nancy – Do you have any final thoughts?

Troy – I wanted to go back over the final question…What’s something that people don’t know about me?  I was raped when I was a kid…when I was 10 years old…just don’t think that we’re people you know…who had what we wanted growing up and just threw it away…it’s not the case.. I would like to say too…Anybody who is willing to actually live up to their promise, please help us because we need it. Your society needs it. And it’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger. It’s not yet getting any better…it’s getting worse

Nancy – Troy, I want to really thank you for sharing your story today

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