Sasha’s Story is an 8 part series running until December 24. To listen to the audio backgrounder from CHRI radio, click Episode #3 Hard Life on the Street
When I first came to Ottawa I started to work the streets right away. I slept behind the garbage bin on Cooper Street most of the time. That was my spot for the longest time, in the back, right there. I used to work the corners of those streets near there.
I hated myself.
I tried to bury myself with drugs and tried to hang myself when I first heard I had HIV.
I had another spot to sleep on Gladstone. There was a woman that helped us then. She gave us sandwiches, drinks, socks and clean clothes. We called her the bag lady. She used to jump into dumpsters and get stuff for us. She had a wagon, and gave us clean face cloths to clean up. She used to keep us safe behind this building. I think she got stuff from OIM and passed it along to us.
There was a place downtown where we used to hang out and listen to the music from a store, and people there used to put food for us in the garbage bins. We used to eat the food out of the garbage.
Next week: Sasha connects with outreach workers from OIM and things take a turn for the better!
OIM does not receive on-going government funding to operate any of our programs, but instead rely on the goodwill donations of concerned citizens and business owners in the National Capital Region. We need your help to continue our outreach program on the streets. Please make a donation today. Just click “Donate Now”. Thanks!