Friday, April 2, 2010

Scenes from Dr Zivago

April 2, 2010
I always carry a box of safety pins when I am travelling, to me safety pins are like duck tape but they take up a lot less room in my backpack. Today is the coldest day since I arrived in Vancouver…. The winds are gusting to 85-kmh and my garret room is a little icebox. Like many of the SROs this building is easily 100 years old, the gap between the bottom of the window frame and outer wall is probably half an inch. The window itself is single pane, metal framed in 3 pieces…so there is no insulating value. Usually I hang my robe (pretty red flowered silk look) on the curtain rod and open it to block the sun, today that needed a rethink. I took the fleece blanket off my bed and used my safety pin collection to attach it to the curtain rod. The blanket billows inward with each gust of wind; I know it is not keeping the cold air from entering my little sanctuary, it is simply redirecting it toward the floor. But this does keep the draft from blowing directly onto my bed/sofa/dining room. It took almost 30 minutes for my fingers to defrost enough to type this.
I feel fortunate that I don’t have to venture out in this weather, hopefully tomorrow will be better. Many of the homeless will spend the day walking from sleep centres to drop-ins, to soup kitchens (many of which line up outside) back to a drop-in then back to the sleep program. Where hopefully, they will arrive early enough to get a mat. That aspect of street life is difficult enough in good weather.
The bed shortage situation often gives rise to calls for more shelters spaces…. I am saying NO to more shelter beds. Shelters are a band-aid; the solution is to build affordable housing. Once the working poor and medical clients have homes, there will be more than enough space in shelters for our street population.
Oh yeah right.. safety pins also hold your back pack together and can keep really big clothes from falling off your butt. Sometimes my ADD just takes over LOL.

1 comment:

  1. Amen Bonnie! Another bed shoved in a corner while someone pats themselves for contributing is not the solution. Affordable housing that allows people to regain their sense of self-worth and independence is the key!!!