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 situation: I called my landlord. Luckily for me, I have a decent landlord who took care of the situation. Problem solved.

Not so easy for some of our street friends. Take Jacob, for example. Jacob was born onto the streets of Toronto. He grew up couch hopping and doing whatever was necessary to get by. He moved to Ottawa 30 years ago and since then has called these streets his home. A few months ago, he finally acquired housing. He was so proud of his little apartment that he could call his own.

But last week, Jacob informed me that he no longer had hydro at his apartment. At first he thought that Ottawa Hydro had shut off his services by mistake. But after calling Ottawa hydro, he discovered that it was a problem with the apartment itself that needed to be addressed by the landlord. The landlord, however, was refusing to take responsibility, saying “It’s not my problem.”