Day 4 – December 26, 2010 – The Living Room

Start from the beginning

The Living Room – 2pm

When I got out of the church, my shopping cart wasn’t there anymore.  It is something that I have grown accustomed to by now.  When you find a cart, you can take it, but don’t expect it to be there when you come back.  I left the church and continued my search for Mission Possible.   Unfortunately, it was closed.   So I decided to walk across the street to another community center called the Living Room.   This is a place where people with mental disabilities come to hang out, drink, eat and watch movies.  Everybody here is really friendly and warm.  I’ve only been greeted with smiles.

Out of all the organizations I have come into contact with so far, this place, the Oppenheimer Community Center, Carnegie Community Center, and the Anglican Church are all worthy of mentions.  I think volunteering for any of these places would be great for people who want to make a difference in the Downtown Eastside.  I am sure that there are other places as well.

The staff told me that I am not supposed to be here.  This organization was only for the mentally ill.  That is ironic because I do not really understand this distinction so far.  John who played piano for me a few days ago was here as well.

Who judges whether one suffers from mental illnesses or not?  A common misconception is that the mentally ill are dangerous.  Is there a correlation between criminals and mental illness?  Contrary to popular belief, the mentally ill actually pose a low risk to society.  The research states that “it is more likely to win the national lottery jackpot, than to die at the hand of a stranger with a mental illness.”

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