Rose’s Homeless Story for Homelessness Action Week 2018

October 30, 2018

Rose, a member of Diverse Organization Providing Education and Regional Services (DOPERS) in Surrey shares her 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. We’re here doing some interviews for the Homelessness Action Week getting people’s stories.

Nancy – Welcome! What’s your Name?

Rose – Rose

Nancy – Do you have any nicknames?

Rose – Rosie

Nancy – How old are you?

Rose – 51

Nancy – Hometown?

Rose – Calgary

Nancy – What city do you mostly stay in?

Rose – In Surrey

Nancy – Are you homeless?

Rose – Yes

Nancy – How did that start?

Rose – Drugs

Nancy – How Long Have You been Homeless?

Rose – 3 years

Nancy – Tell us about your journey?

Rose – Due to drugs and then abuse

What did you do before coming here?

Rose – Living in Calgary, due to drugs I slipped

Nancy – What do you notice about this city?

Rose – It’s very dirty, the streets. For a female I find it harder to find showers.

Nancy – How did you end up living on the streets?

Rose – Drugs

Nancy – How hard is it to be homeless?

Rose – Extremely especially for a female….Finding places to get out of the rain…trying to stay clean, trying to survive for your habit

Nancy – Where do you live right now?

Rose – Just a make shift tent that my common law made for us…just behind the Esso

Nancy – Where do you sleep at night?

Rose – Set up our tent…put our mattress in there

Nancy – Do you feel safe on the streets?

Rose – I feel safe because I am with my husband

Nancy – Do you have any family?

Rose – I do ..pretty emotional, pretty trying actually

Nancy – How so?

Rose – The family part, not seeing them…like they know what we do, so it’s kind of hard…and my son who’s 24 is in Calgary and as long as we’ve been out here…I haven’t seen him or spoke to him…so it’s hard…if it wasn’t for common law wouldn’t be homeless in my son’s eyes

Nancy – Are you suggesting that there’s double standard?

Rose – Big time

Nancy – That Women are who are homeless are treated different than men who are homeless?

Rose – Big Time! Because in my son’s eyes…it is my fault that we are homeless..if it wasn’t for me…my common law wouldn’t be homeless. My common law has told our son so many times that isn’t the way but his family and our son believe that if it wasn’t for me…you know…

Nancy – Do you think in the general’s that way?

Rose – Definitely, Definitely…yep

Nancy – How do you do you make money? How do you come up with money to feed yourself?

Rose – I work the streets….working girl

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

Rose – Yes, very hard

Nancy – Are you on welfare?

Rose – Yes

Nancy – Are they helping you find a place?

Rose – No

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

Rose – Drugs

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

Rose – Cleanliness, hygiene..and cooking…I.miss cooking my own meals

Nancy – What is the biggest roadblock to finding shelter?

Rose – Is getting to meetings on time and sticking with programs

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

Rose – Being sober

Nancy – Tell us something no one knows about you?

Rose – Missing my very very best friend that passed away

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

Rose – That we like being here, that we don’t mind being homeless…that it doesn’t bother us

Nancy – What do you miss most?

Rose – My family

Nancy – What needs to be done for the homeless?

Rose – Advocacy…things are happening right now with you people…awareness…I would say number one thing is awareness

Nancy – What about programs for people to go during the day?

Rose – Exactly

Nancy – What would have changed your life?

Rose – If my best friend wouldn’t have passed away

Nancy – What would help you overcome your challenges?

Rose -Finding residency…finding a home

Nancy – What is your drug of choice?

Rose – Crack

Nancy – How do you manage your addiction?

Rose – I go get the money…I have a money on speed dial

Nancy – What does taking the drugs give you?

Rose – just…I forget everything else

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

Rose – Getting there…getting into lines..making sure I can get there before it’s closed..or they run out

Nancy – What about the bathroom?

Rose – Thank Goodness to be honest we’re right behind a gas station

Nancy – How do you keep healthy?

Rose – Eating when I can

Nancy – Do you have any beliefs you live by?

Rose -No…I used to…not anymore

Nancy – What is the best part of your day?

Rose – The evenings

Nancy – Do you think people really want to end homelessness?

Rose – No I don’t think people do want to end homelessness

Nancy – What does the future look like?

Rose – Not bright

Nancy – What are your hopes and wishes for you?

Rose – Find a place to live

Nancy – Where do you keep your stuff, your belongings?

Rose – In a knapsack at the tent

Nancy – What was your last steady job?

Rose – Was managing in Calgary

Nancy – How long ago was it?

Rose – 4 years

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

Rose – 3 years

Nancy – Do you have any kids?

Rose – One boy

Nancy – In sentence, can you sum up your current situation?

Rose – Desperate and Destitute

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

Rose – I need help ending my homelessness situation

Nancy – Do you have any final thoughts?

Rose – I just thank you people for letting me… allowing me to get my story out there because quite frankly it sucks being homeless and it sucks even more being female and homeless and if I could be living somewhere….I know the addiction would still be there but it would be half of what it is now. That would be my final thought.

Nancy – Thank you very much for sharing your story with us. You had some really good things to say. I really appreciate.

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