Entries by moira

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Addict…criminal…abuse victim… These are just some of the labels that street youth give themselves.   They are so used to people focusing on their weaknesses that they begin to believe that they do not possess any strengths. At P4Y, we have adopted a Strength Based Approach –we focus on identifying and building on the strengths […]

Caring Volunteers

Every Thursday evening in the P4Y art room, 20 or so youth gather and let their creative juices flow. On a typical night, one youth is in the hallway quietly strumming on a ukulele. Inside, youth are sitting around tables painting, needle felting, knitting and drawing. In the music room one youth is wailing on […]

A Stranger’s Prayer

    A few weeks ago, two of our volunteers were doing street outreach. They came across Liz, a woman who we often see on outreach. Liz is normally a happy person, but tonight she was distraught. She was sitting alone on a bench. She was crying and shaking. She said that things are getting […]

Earthman

  One cool Tuesday afternoon before the OIM Drop-in closed its doors, a man walked into the main room requesting one small bottle of shampoo. He was tall and dressed like a mountain man with his  long dark hair and beard. He was dressed in a long tunic style coat and wore a wool toque(hat) and scarf. He stood […]

Worlds Apart

  This winter we had some especially frigid days. On one such day I woke up in my cold apartment and went downstairs to get ready for work, only to discover that the pipes in my washroom were frozen. An annoying reality of Canadian winters. I did what I always do in this type of […]

Anchovies

A woman had just finished eating dinner at a nice downtown restaurant. She had enjoyed a delicious gourmet pizza and had wrapped up the piece she could not finish in a take-home bag. As she was walking to her car, she noticed a teenage boy sitting on the sidewalk. He was holding a sign that […]

Feeling Human

  I met Ashley last summer. She had just left her parents house and was staying at a downtown shelter. Like many other youth who first come to the streets, she seemed nervous but excited about being out on her own for the first time. She spoke about her life like she was starting a […]

Monsters

When I first met Kat, she was sitting downtown busking for change. Her big and vibrant personality radiated out of her as she sang to passers-by. Everyone who heard couldn’t help but smile at the little girl with the big voice. Soon after our first meeting, Kat joined the art group. She was naturally very artistic and […]

It’s the kind thing to do…

Often times when people hear that I work with the homeless, they like to engage in a conversation about whether or not our society should be responsible for taking care of the homeless. This conversation is generally very predictable… People talk about the waste of money that goes into social programs. Some complain about supporting […]

“Low Places”

Suzanne comes to the drop-in every week without fail. Her story is similar to many others: she immigrated to Canada several years ago and she continues to struggle to make ends meet. She comes to the drop-in every week to get much needed support and community. She is also attending language classes a few times […]