Activism · Addiction · Homelessness · Homelessness · Lifestyle

Don’t worry, if you read this, you wont catch ‘Poor’.

Tent City in Victoria BC. Photo by CBC News Victoria. Tent City is no more, but most are still homeless.

Some of you may have experienced homelessness in your life but probably most of you have not. I have found that people who haven’t experienced losing everything or going without the basic life necessities, are much less sympathetic or empathetic to the situation. I’m not generalizing ALL people, but it is the majority. I don’t blame you for it, either. But, I feel like it’s time that people educate themselves about the homeless and low income population – because right now we are in a crisis and people are closer than ever to losing it all.

It’s unbelievable how many people that I know who were solid and made good money who are now just one pay check away from being homeless. This is a big problem. The cost of living goes up every year, but the wages are not going up enough to compete with it. Rents are sky high and single people are no longer able to rent an apartment on their own – nevermind owning. The small percent of people who are “rich” and can afford any cost are very few and far between.

A Person sleeps with their belongings in Victoria BC – photo by Peninsula News Review. This is a common sight in downtown Victoria.

There is a stigma amongst the homeless and low income population, that they are lazy, alcoholics or drug addicts, they should ‘just get a job’. While this is true for some, it is not all. Many have mental health issues and other disabilities preventing them from working. Many have debilitating depression and anxiety. Many have chronic pain from traumas of the past. But one thing that every single one has in common is that they have been made to feel worthless. Less than human. Did you know that if you don’t have a home address, you are not allowed to get government issued photo ID? This hinders any progress they could make because you need ID to do just about anything.

I can vouch for this treatment, as I have experienced it first hand. People have grabbed there kids and told them to ‘walk faster’. Some people will move their bodies in such a way that they make it really obvious they are trying not to touch you. Some people will literally cross the street to get away from you. Instead of asking people for money we collect cans. Sometimes people laugh at us. Sometimes people say “gross” or make other disrespectful comments. Without even trying to collect them – just picking them up along the route I’m walking everyday – we will make between $50 and $80 per week. That is taking NO time out of my day to do it because we are already walking somewhere to begin with. To me that is a lot of money and totally worth picking up some cans and have some rude people make some comments here and there. This even still happens now sometimes and I just say “You can’t catch poor!”

Our Place Society – Victoria BC – Photo by OakBayNews. Our Place is a place where homeless, and low-income all over the city can come get together with others get resource help and eat for free – ALL DAY! There are also low income apartments above it, which is great, but hard to get in to.

Last week – October 13 – 19th 2019 – was Homelessness Action Week. That is what has made me write about this. It’s taken me about a week to figure out what I wanted to say in this post because I’m hoping that people who are reading this are people who maybe could learn from it.

If you have ever been one of those people who have made rude comments or disrespected a homeless or low-income person – it’s okay. You can always change that thought. Not all homeless people are stupid. Not all homeless people are homeless because of their own actions. Not all homeless people are on drugs or alcoholics – although a lot are and that is not because they just want to do drugs, but because they are trying to forget something awful in their life. We have all had traumas in our lives. We’ve all hit rock bottom. We have all thought about suicide. And think about it next time someone wants to be rude or disrespectful to a homeless or low-income person. They could be so close to the edge that it just takes that ONE comment to have them jump off. Instead send a smile their way or say hello! Believe me, it makes all the difference in the world to have SOMEONE be nice to you. Even if it’s just a smile.

Cool Aid society in Victoria has many low – income supported housing buildings and they also have resources for just about anything you need. Including Doctor’s office, Pharmacy and Dental clinic.

We are all human and we all deserve to be treated respectfully – regardless of our situations. See what kind of programs and resources your city has for these people. Some cities don’t have anything. Maybe you can be someone who can help!

Thank you for reading. It means a lot to me.

Be Brave. Be Kind. Be True. Be you. and Stay Safe.

Carly Leigh

Beading · Recovery · Updates

Let’s Change The World.

If it is possible for something to go wrong, or even impossible, it will go wrong. There’s just been some setbacks in getting my store up and running. But I suppose that it’s expected in the beginning. I know I get over excited and start my website and start promoting long before I should – so I hope that you don’t get too bored of waiting on me.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though. I’ve gotten everything I need outside of more supplies and tools (which is very important). But I’m on a limited budget, unfortunately and sometimes I have to wait to get items that I need. But once I have my store running I will have money allocated for shipping etc. So there wont be any worries there.

WooCommerce

I don’t know how I just found this out – but the store – Bamboo, Beads & Bling ( http://www.bamboobeadsandbling.com ) offers FREE workshops – and lots of them! There are almost THIRTY different workshops available. I’m going to check this out in more detail because I am so close to this store that I could be at every single one! *laughs* They will be sick of me. I need to see if you need money for supplies (which I would think you would – but you never know). Either way it’s really great! They are located in the heart of Victoria’s Chinatown (which is the oldest Chinatown in Canada) on Fisgard St.

Here is a list of the October Workshops! Maybe I’ll see you there!

  • 10/05/19 ( 10am – 12:30pm ) Knotty Class
  • 10/05/19 ( 1pm – 3pm ) Making Malas
  • 10/05/19 ( 3:30pm – 4:30pm ) Stretchy Bracelet
  • 10/19/19 ( 10am – 11:30am ) Intro To Earrings
  • 10/19/19 ( 12pm – 2pm ) Cascade Earrings
  • 10/19/19 ( 2:30pm – 4pm ) Herringbone Earrings
  • 10/26/19 (10am – 1pm ) Woven Bracelet
  • 10/26/19 ( 1:30pm – 4pm ) Advanced Earring Class
Jetpack

So as I said all things can and will go wrong. And I meant it. I got sick this past week. Just a cough and cold but because my lungs are still so scarred from when I had endocarditis – I’m having a hard time breathing or doing much of anything. So I’m just trying to relax and hopefully get over this sooner than later. It’s hard enough when I’m not sick. *laughs*

I was supposed to have tax returns and GST checks mailed to me, but they somehow were sent to an address from years ago, don’t ask me how. So I have been dealing with that as well. Gotta love government issues. Takes hours to get a hold of a person when you call in. Anyway these were allocated towards part of my business and so now that is another reason to fall behind. So once again I’m sorry that it’s taking forever. Some of it is my fault, some of it is beyond my control. But I’m working on fixing it all as we speak. And get better at the same time…

On another topic, does anyone know about the Extinction Rebellion? I know a lot of people don’t agree that climate change is a problem, but a man who works in my building who actually wrote a great song that I will post below, has been talking to me about this and went to one of their meetings so I guess that next week they are blocking the bridge by my house (again). I might go check it out this time.

WordPress.com

Anyway here is the song he wrote for Greta Thunberg and Climate Change called “Let’s Change The World”.

Chris is a great guy and a great musician who has really found his place wanting to fight for climate change. That – I will support! Please subscribe to his YouTube Channel – Plastic Ocean https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXrjVIs3eKiWS_dqwk1pDzg and share his song with all of your friends, family etc.

That’s about all I have to say for now. I know I’m a little all over the place today – must be my cold. *laughs*

Stay Strong, Stay Safe.

Carly Leigh