State Of David


Homeless In KitchenerSince I put my blog on hiatus last winter, I’ve received a number of inquiries from my readers asking if I am all right, if not dead. It became necessary, though with great difficulty (to be explained later), to write this post. I’ll try to keep writing regular status reports like this but it is going to be difficult due to my situation.

As of right now, I experience bouts of homeless, and on occasion these bouts can be three weeks long before I get a few days respite, a shower, and a bed to lie down in. I am currently located in the region of Waterloo, Ontario and haunt Kitchener and Waterloo. You’ll find me on the buses or at Charles Street Terminal keeping out of the elements.

My sleeping habits consist of many naps on the buses and in the park and malls. I average a total of 3 to 4 hours of sleep per day (not at night, since everything is shut down — the tri city area is not 24-7 like Toronto is), though not deep enough to induce a REM cycle. As a result, I do hallucinate a bit — nothing serious, I just hear someone call my name that’s not really there or knock on a window behind me when there is no window behind me. I also have a great deal of trouble writing and performing mathematical calculations (it galls me that I can’t remember my tables as well as I used to). This blog post, a task normally done in an hour, consisted of three days of notetaking in a LibreOffice document.

As for my health? Because I no longer sleep on my back, my legs have started to swell up and my shins break out in blisters from the water that breaks the skin surface. I have a YouTube video chronicling this (note, it’s a little gross so please put your dinner aside before you view). My lower back muscles have started to atrophy so lying down and getting up is a painful exercise. Vision and teeth are fine, but I’m not sure how well my eyes and teeth really are because I cannot afford to go to a dentist or an eye doctor. These two things are not covered by OHIP, our government health plan here in Ontario. I can say I see clearly like I usually do and I can chew food properly and brush without bleeding.

I do the odd temp job to pay for food and laundry and transit, but when you are homeless the cost of food goes up. You no longer can buy in bulk — you have no house and no fridge, so you buy per portion. A litre of milk for example is wasteful when you can buy the three bag deal. I have no microwave, no stove, so it’s either McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, Subways, 7-11 (they do have delicious and affordable meatballs and chicken on a stick), or some other fast food place.

Relationships with friends and family are understandably strained and without blame towards anyone because of my situation. Some people worry, some people wonder if I’ve just become lazy and a loafer, and most fear for my future. I know I certainly do, as I once said I may not make it to my retirement years. On the subject of retirement, using those funds to extend my finances is becoming closer and closer to a reality, against the wishes of those who feel I should not use the fund, which causes the stresses I noted earlier.

That’s my update and it was very tiring to write. As I stated many times, if you are in the Waterloo Region area and can lend a hand, you know how to reach me.

As always, thanks for reading.

David.

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4 thoughts on “State Of David

  1. Hey David,

    Its good to read you are still with the land of the living 🙂

    However, I’m sorry to read of the difficulties you are experiencing with your bouts of homelessness. But given already the health issues mentioned that are already cropping up, if you see your living situation still by September about the same I’d strongly suggest using those retirement funds; and avoid continuing into winter in these circumstance, if possible. Since they’re no good to you if you don’t reach retirement age anyway. If those funds should get used up and you’re still unemployed at least you would be eligible for social assistance in conjunction with basic eye care , dental and whatnot.

    Furthermore, since it seems you are only working periodic temporary jobs where possible … Toronto seems like it would be a better choice for you than Kitchener and Waterloo in my humble opinion. As you said, Toronto is a city of 24/7 unlike Kitchener and Waterloo. Moreover, I stipulate the point due to the reason I’d imagine there would be more Temporary Job agencies in comparison as well as more services for the homeless individuals ; plus I’d suspect it be cheaper to live allowing whatever money you acquire to stretch further.

    In exampe here is a source of many resources & locations within Toronto that offer the following Free services : Showers/Laundry, Meals, Sleep, Clothing Banks, Internet, Nursing clinic …etc. The downtown Toronto area, from my review has more locations closer together, thus easier for travel and access.

    Here is a link to those many resources in Toronto for the Homeless.

    Street Health :

    http://www.streethealth.ca/street-resources/drop-ins#.VA-XiLH13s0

    Heck, here is even a list / Chart of offered services for Toronto Free Meal locations with Phone Numbers & Times … check it out below.

    Weekly Meals List – Free or Low Cost Meals:
    http://goo.gl/zVnE6H

    And for free haircuts , you can check through various locations offered in Toronto at this link below I discovered. There always seems to be people offering the free service.

    Free T.O Haircuts : http://goo.gl/L6C2re

    Nonetheless David, I truly hope you consider my aforementioned above suggestions. Anyway, albeit I too am on a very low income but I feel I can make a donation to you to offer some small assistance within a week or two latest. Now I dunno where your PayPal donation button is located however I can send the donation to your > davidalangay Hotmail or any other email client via my Paypal. If that is okay , let me know.

    Otherwise, take care my friend and continue to prevail as I believe you will.

    Best Regards,

    Ed

    1. Hi Ed. Once again, thanks again for the information, your support and comments. The decision has been made regarding the retirement as of yesterday evening. It will be used where needed.

      Check your Email. You will get the information you asked for.

  2. Oh man!
    That’s hard time you are living! Got close to a similar situation in 90s. After 2 years of isolation and profound depression in the ridiculous appartment I got able to pay with Quebec social security ($500/month doesn’t allow anyone to properly feed, dress, pay a phoneline (convenient for a job seeker) or simply have a non-humiliating life) I finally found a night job in WalMart as a janitor. I was really far from my dreams of astrophysics of genetic lab research.
    Since I didn’t get able to daysleep for my first 4-5 months, I started hallucinating the same exact way you describe it. I got very close to lose that miserable job. Even if I didn’t smoke pot at all, everybody around thought I was stoned… until I actually found a bit of pot and got my first real sleep in months (48 hours in a row). Then my colleagues told me they were happy for my decision to stop using drugs… 😀

    Anyway. Because I thought for a few years I was not deserving / worthy of doing something else than cleaning toilets with a toothbrush, I didn’t even searched for something better… That damned vicious circle! Nonetheless, as I grew angry I also became much less depressed than I used to be and a bit more fighter / motivated. That got me to lose that job. Luckily, I got able to get back to school in electricity. That gave me 2 low paid but decent jobs doing electronic montage and debugging (not really what I intended but…). But 2008’s crash stroke me in the face and I lost those 2 jobs when exports collapsed. I got a bit of not-so-legal sideline for a little while until I got back to school and found a new part-time «student job» in computer network management.
    Now everything is fine for me (even if I think I’m a bit «average» talented) but I got a bit too old to think about buying a house or having kids. I won’t lecture anyone about hardworking because the amount of effort you put on something is never the only factor leading to «happy ending». The social, economic, psychological, health context and how you are tooled at birth is as decisive as someone’s will to fight. Actually, will is the product of all these, not the source.

    I’m a bit cynical about life, I won’t drop those cheesy-naive-stupid babbling saying «It’s all gonna be alright. I’ts all temporary badluck and blablabla…» because I just don’t know. We never know. Existence doesn’t often rimes with happy ending. I’m aware tomorow a badluck or a bad decision could bring me / anyone back to step 1. Or -1.

    That said, I am sincerely touched by your situation. Really few people understand how this vicious machine of misery gets hard to break once you’re traped in. I do.

    It probably won’t change anything for you but I hope things get better for you soon, because the pictures you post here show with unmistakable obviousness that your situation is a heavy burden for your physical and mental health.

    Good luck David.

    1. Alex, thank you for your comments. Thank you for sharing your story with me and I’m glad to hear that, despite the challenges you faced, you’re sailing on an even keep and hope things continue to go well for you in health and personal happiness. You did bring up a great point about things resetting back to step one for you and I hope that never happens to you. I only bring it up because it reminds me of that old saying, “you are only one paycheque away from poverty” and that’s something most people seem to miss understanding until they end up in the situation I’m in.

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