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DOPERS Meeting Langley Nov 7 2018

November 13, 2018 Leave a comment

DOPERS – Diverse Organization Providing Education and Regional Services welcoming new members in Langley, BC speaking about Homelessness, Hepatitis C, Shelter conditions,  Self Care, Cold Weather, Bylaws, Harm Reduction, Overdoses, Opioid Crisis, Food Security and more.

 

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DOPERS Meeting in Surrey Nov 6 2018

November 13, 2018 Leave a comment

DOPERS – Diverse Organization Providing Education and Regional Services welcoming new members in Surrey, BC speaking about Homelessness, Overdoses, Cool Weather, Self Care, Shelter,  Harm Reduction, Opioid Crisis, Poverty, Living Conditions, Modular Housing and more.

DOPERS Meeting Langley Oct 31 2018

November 6, 2018 Leave a comment

DOPERS – Diverse Organization Providing Education and Regional Services welcoming new members in Langley, BC speaking about Homelessness, Hepatitis C, Shelter conditions,  Self Care, Cold Weather, Bylaws, Harm Reduction, Overdoses, Opioid Crisis, Food Security and more.

DOPERS Meeting in Surrey Oct 30 2018

November 6, 2018 Leave a comment

DOPERS – Diverse Organization Providing Education and Regional Services welcoming new members in Surrey, BC speaking about Homelessness, Overdoses, Cool Weather, Self Care, Shelter, Trauma Counseling, Harm Reduction, Opioid Crisis, Poverty, Living Conditions, Modular Housing and more.

Zoe’s Homeless Story for Homelessness Action Week 2018

October 30, 2018 Leave a comment

Zoe, 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 interview with members for the Homelessness Action Week.

Nancy – What’s your name?

Zoe – My name is Zoe

Nancy – Do you have any nicknames?

Zoe – No

Nancy – Do you mind telling me how old you are?

Zoe – 51

Nancy – Hometown?

Zoe – Port Burwell, Ontario

Nancy – What city do you mostly stay in?

Zoe – Surrey

Nancy – Are you homeless?

Zoe – Yes

Nancy – How did that start?

Zoe – My husband died when I was 45 years old…his kids came to stay with me….and his kids got me into drugs…started me with the cocaine, started in with the meth, crystal meth, and shortly after that happened…my mother had died. .got into drugs more heavily…stuff just went to hell after that…it’s so hard to really explain…but about 5 months after that…I met Dennis…right after my husband died…we got into drugs very very heavily……my dad had thrown us out…we had nowhere to go and we were living in a car…so we went to a town where we knew people…stayed with them for a month and we ended up again homeless after there…I had a nervous breakdown, ended up in the hospital for 6 weeks…came out here to Surrey

Nancy – How Long Have You been Homeless?

Zoe – About 2 years

Nancy – How hard is it to be homeless?

Zoe – It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life.

Nancy – Can you tell me a bit about your journey?

Zoe – I’ve learned that being homeless and on the streets is a journey everyday of your life…dealing with where you are and what you do…what you have to put up with and everything else….you can’t be private on the street…you can’t…no such thing as privacy…no sense of dignity…that’s probably the biggest thing…there’s no sense of dignity…no sense of privacy…no sense of being. Am I going to make it another day? Because I’ve been through the nervous breakdown already

Nancy – What do you notice about this city?

Zoe – there are a lot of programs here that help and they are helping…never get that kind of help in Ontario…like DOPERS to start with…that’s a godsend..it saved me..you guys keep me grounded..it’s something I look forward to everyday…it is..you guys are my lifesavers.

Nancy – Do you feel safe on the streets?

Zoe – No…you never know…first night I got a tent..a guy walking on the street and there was blood all over his face…he was covered in blood …he walked to the end of the street…and he got beaten.

Nancy – Do you have any family?

Zoe – None that I talk too

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

Zoe – Every time I go where I am, I cry.

Nancy – How do you do you make money for yourself?

Zoe – Collecting bottles, welfare, work as a prostitute

Nancy – How do you get by?

Zoe – Day by day…that’s it

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

Zoe – Everyday I get up that my feet aren’t so sore is going to be a good day.

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

Zoe – Staying warm, staying safe…we could never have anything, it always got stolen…we had phones, tablets…everything got stolen…anytime we had anything..it always got stolen

Nancy – What are your roadblocks to finding housing?

Zoe – A lot of people don’t want to rent to someone who’s on welfare…someone who’s homeless…

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

Zoe – Getting up in the morning and getting out of bed.

Nancy – Did you live in the homeless camp?

Zoe – Just the strip

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

Zoe – Yeah I know quite a few homeless people

Nancy – Do you feel there is a sense of community within the homeless population? Do you help each other out with tips, ideas?

Zoe – Yeah, it’s like an extended family. Growing up I had two brothers…now I have 300 brothers and sisters. That’s the way it feels..we’re family..we all stick up for each other…we all look out for each other. .we all help each other whenever we can…and it’s amazing as a family on the strip..it was the best feeling in the world

Nancy – Tell us one thing about yourself?

Zoe – I have two years left to live. I’m dying of myotonic dystrophy and it’s going to kill me.

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

Zoe – That we’re all thieves

Nancy – What do you miss most?

Zoe – My mom

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

Zoe – People to give us a chance

Nancy – What would have changed your life? What could have happened to change things?

Zoe – With my husband dying, my mom dying…my dad took advantage of me

Nancy – What would help you overcome your challenges?

Zoe – I honestly don’t know

Nancy – What is your drug of choice?

Zoe – Heroin

Nancy – How do you manage your addiction? What do the drugs do for you?

Zoe – It makes me able to get up

Nancy – What is the highlight of the day?

Zoe – Knowing I’ve got that toke

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

Zoe – Knowing what can I sell to get that toke? What can I do to get that dope? How am I going to get my toke today?

Nancy – How do you keep safe?

Zoe – My partner keeps me safe

Nancy – Do you have any beliefs you live by?

Zoe – Just if I can get up and move

Nancy – Do people really want to solve homelessness?

Zoe – Some people yes

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

Zoe – I keep hoping the doctors are wrong

Nancy – Where do you keep your belongings?

Zoe – In a room

Nancy – What was your last steady job?

Zoe – I worked at Tim Horton’s

Nancy – How long ago was it?

Zoe – 25 years ago

Zoe –

Nancy – How many kids do you have?

Zoe – 2

Nancy – One sentence to sum up your current situation?

Zoe – I’m a survivor

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

Zoe – Give us a chance

Nancy – Final thoughts?

Zoe – I would like to see the government step up and keep the programs in place that they have..put back programs they took away from us and help us.

Nancy – Zoe, Thank you for sharing your story. You had some really good things to say

Dennis’ Homeless Story for Homelessness Action Week 2018

October 30, 2018 Leave a comment

Dennis, a member of Diverse Organization Providing Education and Regional Services (DOPERS) in Surrey 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. We’re here asking people some questions for the Homelessness Action Week. We want them to tell us their stories.

Nancy – What’s your name?

Dennis – Dennis

Nancy – Do you have any nicknames?

Dennis – No

Nancy – How old are you?

Dennis – 43

Nancy – Where’s your hometown?

Dennis – Port Burwell, Ontario

Nancy – What city do you mostly stay in?

Dennis – Surrey

Nancy – Are you homeless?

Dennis – Yes in a tent

Nancy – How did that start?

Dennis – Back in Ontario I was working, living on a pot farm…working there and me and the boss came to a head and I had to leave the farm and we became homeless…we came out here hoping to have a better go at it and it’s been a rough go

Nancy – How Long Have You been Homeless?

Dennis – About 2 years now

Nancy – Tell us about your journey? What did you do before you came here?

Dennis – I was married for 14 years….my wife cheated on me and I left home…I moved back to my mom’s house and met Zoe my partner and we got into drugs…lost my kids when my wife took them…we really got into drugs then…we came out here…we were clean when we came out here…and we got back into drugs and we’re trying to get off of them again.

Nancy – What do you notice about this city?

Dennis – Was a lot of help for the homeless, seems like it got taken away when the Modulars came up.. A lot of programs are closed

Nancy – How hard is it to be homeless?

Dennis – One of the hardest things I’ve done in life

Nancy – Do you feel safe on the streets?

Dennis – No, not at all…things can just change like that (snaps fingers) January I got stabbed in the back for no reason. I was watching a fight and the guy got knocked out ..and he came at me with a knife…and I got stabbed in the back and punctured my lung

Nancy – Do you have any family?

Dennis – None that I talk to

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

Dennis – It sucks…I wish I wasn’t homeless

Nancy – How do you do you make money?

Dennis – When I was on the strip, in a tent I would work for my neighbor…I kept people away from his tent.

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

Dennis – Be with my common law partner, we color and talk and wait for the next day to go by.

Nancy – How did you feed yourself every day?

Dennis – Through the Front Room, they used to serve lunch and dinner and on weekends there are church organizations that come down on the strip to feed people.

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

Dennis – Yes

Nancy – Does it make it hard to keep a job?

Dennis – Yes

Nancy – Are you on welfare?

Dennis – Yes I am

Nancy – Have they been helping you find a place to live?

Dennis – No

Nancy – What do you look forward to each day?

Dennis – Spending another day with my woman, my wife

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

Dennis – Not having any security, not having a door to lock behind you

Nancy – What is the biggest roadblock to finding shelter, to finding housing?

Dennis – Being homeless, people think you ate a thief, you’re lowlife

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

Dennis – Wondering where you are going to lay your head next at night…where you are going to eat?

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

Dennis – Yes … there’s a big group of us that socialize all the time and we’re like a family

Nancy – Help each other out?

Dennis – Yeah

Nancy – Tell us something nobody knows about you?

Dennis – I love my cats

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

Dennis – That we’re all thieves, we’re all lowlifes

Nancy – What do you miss most?

Dennis – My kids

Nancy – What needs to be done for the homeless?

Dennis – More affordable housing

Nancy – What about Programs?

Dennis – Yeah we need more programs…they took a lot of programs away…there’s no drop in centres…there’s nowhere for homeless to go at night time…or the cold…or the rain

Nancy – What about during the day?

Dennis – There’s nothing during the day either…if you’re not in the shelter, you’re on the streets..there’s no food for people…on the streets now…there’s nothing.

Nancy – What would have changed your life?

Dennis – Probably if I didn’t send my kids to my ex wife for a weekend and she didn’t bring them back…my life would probably be a lot better

Nancy – What would help you overcome your challenges?

Dennis – More programs to help us with what we need

Nancy – What do you need?

Dennis – I need a doctor…I need to get off drugs…programs to help us with drugs

Nancy – What is your drug of choice?

Dennis – Heroin…it’s been a struggle on and off…on Methadone right now but it doesn’t seem to work.

Nancy – How do you manage your addiction?

Dennis – It’s a chore everyday

Nancy – What do the drugs give you? What do they do for you?

Dennis – They numb all the pain…make it easier to go on every day.

Nancy – What is the highlight of the day?

Dennis – Going to bed, knowing that we made it through the day

Nancy – What are some stressful situations that you encounter every day?

Dennis – People look at you, no matter where you go…you are a pariah and you’re diseased..you walk into a store…people follow you around…even though I don’t steal anything…you always got security following you…that’s very stressful

Nancy – How do you keep healthy? How do you keep safe?

Dennis – There’s no staying safe in a tent. Constantly sick or catching cold or something..end up with pneumonia

Nancy – Do you have any beliefs you live by?

Dennis – I believe in not stealing and being honest.

Nancy – What is the best part of your day?

Dennis – Waking up beside my partner

Nancy – Do people really want to solve homelessness?

Dennis – Some people yes and some people I don’t think they even care…they just try to push us under the rug at times …like we’re not there…like let’s hide them…they’re not seen…they’re not there.

Nancy – What does the future look like?

Dennis – I plan on one day going back to Ontario

Nancy – What are your hopes and wishes for you?

Dennis – Things will be better eventually..I’ll have a house, and roof over my head…I can cook…I miss cooking

Nancy – Where do you keep your stuff?

Dennis – We didn’t have any stuff…it always got stolen.

Nancy – What was your last steady job?

Dennis – Working on a Pot Farm in Ontario..I worked there for 3 years

Nancy – How long ago was it?

Dennis – 3 years ago

Nancy – How long had it been since you slept in a bed that was not in a shelter?

Dennis – 1.5 years

Nancy – Do you have any kids?

Dennis – I have 3 sons and a grandson

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

Dennis – It’s better than it was

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

Dennis – Please help us out? We’re all hurting here. We need help.

Nancy – Any final thoughts?

Dennis – We’re people…we need help

Nancy – Thank you Dennis for sharing your story with us…You’ve got some good stuff to say

Rose’s Homeless Story for Homelessness Action Week 2018

October 30, 2018 Leave a comment

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 me..my 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 population..it’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.