Albert’s Homeless Story for Homelessness Action Week 2018

October 30, 2018

Albert, 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 vdeo!

 

Nancy – Hi! I’m Nancy. I’m with Diverse Organization Providing Education + Regional Services. We’re here asking questions for the Homelessness Action Week.

Nancy – Name?

Albert – Albert

Nancy – Age?

Albert – 31

Nancy – Hometown?

Albert – Kitimat, BC

Nancy – Where do you live mostly?

Albert – Langley

Nancy – Are you homeless?

Albert – I am

Nancy – How did that start?

Albert – I was actually helping homeless people…building manager seen homeless people…he evicted me for it

Nancy – How Long Have You been Homeless?

Albert – 1.5 years

Nancy – Tell us about your journey?

Albert – Functioning addict, work just slowed down at home, so I came down here

Nancy – What do you notice about this city?

Albert – They have a homeless problem here they don’t acknowledge…they just push you away…they don’t want you here

Nancy – How hard is it to be homeless?

Albert – It’s very hard, it’s a struggle everyday..you’re cold, you’re wet…you have nowhere to dry off, you’re hungry

Nancy – Where do you live right now?

Albert – I’m on the street

Nancy – Where do you sleep at night?

Albert – Couple places I go where there is a covered area…I got a blanket and a pillow..that’s it…sleep on cardboard

Nancy – Do you feel safe at night?

Albert – No, I’ve been beat up a couple times here in Langley already

Nancy – Do you have any family?

Albert – Not here I don’t. Since I’ve been homeless…I’ve made some good friends here…

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

Albert – They look at us and think we are these crazy …they look scared but we’re actually scared

Nancy – How do you do you make money?

Albert – Bottling..I bottled lots…I came from a job where I’m making $33 an hour to cashing in $33 worth of bottles in 7 days

Nancy – What do you do every day to get by?

Albert – My little street family, they help me..I help them. I live out of my backpack…that’s everything I own right there. Everything has been stolen from me. Everything has been robbed from me.

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

Albert – Yeah..I can’t make it to Vancouver everyday when I’m homeless in Langley

Nancy – Are you on welfare?

Albert – I am on Welfare

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

Albert – No

Nancy – What do you look forward to each day?

Albert – Getting something to eat

Nancy – What keeps you going?

Albert – I know I am not going to be doing this forever

Nancy – What is the hardest part of living in an tent?

Albert – The cold

Nancy – What is the biggest roadblock to finding shelter?

Albert – Most of my problems came from Bylaw

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

Albert – Make sure I don’t lose that phone because it’s the only thing I have

Nancy – Tell us something no one knows about you?

Albert – I built a house out of Popsicle sticks…framed it the exact same way as you build a regular house. Bylaw threw it out.

Nancy – What do you miss most

Albert – My dog

Nancy – What needs to be done for the homeless?

Albert – Work together

Nancy – What would help you overcome your challenges?

Albert – Win the lottery

Nancy – What is your drug of choice?

Albert – Heroin

Nancy – How do you manage your addiction?

Albert – Got on methadone

Nancy – What does it do for you?

Albert – I had anxiety my whole life…still do…Heroin was the only thing out there that would bring me down to a level where I could actually talk to people and be able to do normal things

Nancy – What is the highlight of the day?

Albert – Talking on the phone

Nancy – How do you go to the bathroom?

Albert – I’m always nice and polite…they probably know I’m homeless but they allow me to go in there…I’m courteous. I don’t make a mess

Nancy – Do you have any beliefs you live by?

Albert – Everything happens for a reason..

Nancy – What does the future look like?

Albert – Getting clean is one of my biggest…I’ve been pretty good lately, not using

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

Albert – 1.5 years ago

Nancy – One sentence to sum up your current situation?

Albert – I didn’t think that Homeless people had it that hard.

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

Albert – There are so many people on the streets begging for a safe warm place to live and they don’t have that place…it’s so hard to find places where you can go and ask for help. …like I want help…I want help everyday…but I don’t know where to get it. A lot of hungry people out there. I never experienced being hungry before… people just want to eat…like this is Canada.

Nancy – Thank you so much for sharing today.

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