I arrived back in Ottawa late last night and drove through the downtown area on the way home. I saw a man walking with a garbage bag over his shoulder and as I approached, I wondered if this was someone I knew. It was.
Eddie is somewhere around forty years old and has been habitually homeless. He doesn’t use alcohol or drugs but he does have some mental health issues, and a major story that has brought him to where he is tonight. He is friendly, can carry on a conversation most of the time, and is one of our friends.
I want to take you to just one part of Eddie’s life: Eddie is a walker. He walks. And walks. And walks some more.
He is constantly on the move, from one styrofoam cup of coffee to the next, from one doorway or abandoned building to another when he is ‘moved along’. He is allowed to most of the social service agencies in our city, but really does not access them. He has trouble, as I mentioned earlier, with mental illness.
OK, so I want you to imagine for a brief mom