Day 5 – December 27, 2010 – The usual Blenz

Start from the beginning

The usual Blenz

Waking up shivering is a scary experience.  Right now it is cold and early in the morning.  The temperature has dropped considerably the past two nights.  It was not bearable, so I quickly gathered all my stuff and left.  As I was walking up the streets, I was hoping to find a shopping cart to put my bag in.  But until then, my priority is to keep moving and to stay warm.  Part of my project was to stay at a shelter for one night.  However, the rule I have set out for myself was that I will not be taking the last bed from somebody in need.

There are a lot of shelters here in Vancouver.  Shelters are plenty and so is food.  These are the two things citizens worry most about, but I think both are abundant.  The quantity may be enough, but the same cannot be said about the quality of the shelters or the quality of food available to the poorer community.  I guess the saying holds that “beggars can’t be choosers.”

Sergei told me that you can potentially eat like a King on these streets if you have the ability to build good relationships with the store owners or cooks.  You can show up to their restaurant at specific hours and they will provide you with their gourmet leftovers which you can eat.  All of that certainly depends on how well you can interact with others.  If you have a rude or mean-spirited personality, then you are out of luck.

I’m finally starting to reach my normal body temperature again.  I was willing to walk ten blocks to get to the 24-hour McDonald’s on Granville Street.  The Blenz that I am currently at was much closer than the McDonald’s, so I decided to come here instead.  You will often see homeless people warming up at these 24-hour locations during cold winter days.  If you spot one, please buy them a hot cup of tea.

Some of the homeless have been living on the streets for many years.  Kenneth told me that “a week is just a taste.”   And unfortunately for many here, this is life.  That is certainly true.  I will never get the true and real sense of homelessness, but with my experience now, I will know more than the average person does.  I certainly have a new appreciation of what I have and what they go through.  And with this blog, my message will be heard by those who choose to listen.

Nobody looks forward to being tossed onto the streets and alleys of Vancouver.  Ask yourself, how many of the homeless expected to become homeless themselves?  Did they sit around during Elementary/High School/University thinking that they are looking forward to searching through garbage bins for empty cans or sleeping on the side of the streets, alleys and parks while being addicted to drugs while suffering from mental illness?

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2 responses to “Day 5 – December 27, 2010 – The usual Blenz

  1. What you are doing is admirable, I’ve been reading your story since the beginning and so far I can only say that you are an amazing human being.
    You are inspiring and you have done what everyone in this should world do in their own way, what you are trying to teach us is extremely remarkable and I hope people read your story and change their point of view of how they perceive the world, how they are so material and self involved…. how if we were to stop and put ourselves on the shoes of the people that we do not acknowledge or dislike and start treating everyone like we wish we should be treated… it’s sad but its amazing to see how people like you are out there still and that are willing to help without getting any money in return but instead the happiness of doing what you did, you truly changed their lives as well I am sure.
    The homeless are simply misunderstood people that others fail to acknowledge. I’m pretty sure if high/middle class people that have gone through those same adulthood or childhood issues could join up with homeless that have gone through the same type of issues they could find so many things in common and help each other heal become better than any shrink or money could. We fail to realize that there are so many people that are like us in one way or another and that could mutually benefit from each other greatly.

    • Thank you for reading my blog, your kind words and your interest in this topic. What amazes me is how much interest people have when it comes to homelessness, drug addictions and poverty.

      There are definitely many similarities between rich and poor addicts. As a matter of fact, if we were to strip away all their wealth, there may not be any differences at all.

      I totally agree with us working together as a society and finding common grounds amongst each other. I couldn’t have said it better. The question is, when was the last time we fully opened up to allow such a communication to take place? It does indeed take two people for this to happen. I feel that our society is too busy chasing something they don’t really want/need in the end. Or maybe people like us need to make more of an effort?

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