Thursday, December 07, 2006


Man in the Street
Originally uploaded by scribeoflight.
I was driving home from a client site the other day and happened to be in my city's downtown area - right along the main drag when I see someone poking into one of those cement garbage cans. This may be a 'can collector' I remember thinking - they're pretty common. While I'm sad that it's necessary for them to collect cans at least they are doing something active to make a buck, sort of like squeegee kids, not the best but at least it's working. This fellow on the other hand wasn't looking for cans. As it turns out he was looking for something to sit on, and he found a scrap of cardboard. He moved over to the beside the building put the cardboard down and sat down on it, to beg. At this moment I saw that his left hand was missing, the stump covered in recent bandages. Now, it was -23c (that's -10f for you Americans) that's COLD the windchill probably brought it down to -30c or more (-22f).

I don't know his name, I don't know his history, though he was native. I don't know if he would (or could) accept help if it was offered. I don't know if he has mental or other physical issues but quite frankly I almost cried at this site - we live in a fabulously rich country (by comparison to most other people on the planet) and here is a man out in the cold begging for his life. We're debating weather or not to let a pork processing plant that would bring 500 jobs to the city be built. We're debating weather or not to allow a huge housing suburb called Waverly West be built, our federal government is debating same sex marriage again (it was decided last year the Conservatives brought it back) and we can't find time or money to house or feed this man in decency. He deserves a soft bed and a cup of something warm, no not a big handouts. Now, I still believe that you should work for the best in life. But someplace to sleep and rest and heal in safety is only decent, only Christian. Until we can do that, maybe we need to put a moratorium on new development. Maintain what we have sure but you can't build new expensive (in the cash and environmental sense) housing until everyone down in our city's core has a bed. Maybe that would make a difference...maybe.

It's 18 days to Christmas, the 1st week of Advent...where will he be on Christmas Day?

And no, I'm just as guilty as the rest, I went on my way when the light turned green...

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