Down Some Street: Recouping the Cost of Vagrancy

I just overheard this, a brief bit on CKUT (radio) about a guy whose need to get high put him down and out and living on the streets. It’s a typical story really, about a good man living some bad times and losing track of where he was heading until he didn’t care anymore and getting there was no longer an option anyway… And for that reason it’s a story about begging and loitering and sleeping in parks and alleyways, and so it’s also about someone doing anything he can to survive within the system he no longer had the strength to function in.
It’s also a wonderful, Hallmark-worthy story about redemption, about waking up one morning with your face pressed to concrete and vomit and saying ‘I’ve had enough of this,’ and doing something about it. It’s about a slow process of rehabilitation and regaining self-esteem and learning to be responsible, again. It’s about long sleepless nights and hours and hours of uncontrollable tears, about facing all the suddenly raw feelings that had been numbed for years and about wanting to tear the flesh from your bones and dying to be anywhere where your self isn’t…
It's about survival and choices and acceptance; about rebuilding a life and finding a job and a place to live; about opening a bank account, getting a medi-care card, giving your social insurance number and having a mailing address. And finally, it’s about being a part of the system, again…
The city of Montreal was able to locate him and send him his ‘Welcome Back!’ gift: a bill requesting immediate payment on the approximately $7000 he owes in unpaid begging, loitering, and vagrancy tickets he had received.
Did I mention that this story is also about abusive stupidity?

A few Montreal groups have offered to help the young man.
I don’t have all the details but I’ll add them here as soon as I can find them.

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© 2009, Pascal-Denis Lussier


Willy C Wuddle said...

I sometimes feal down for not having a job or being a useful member of society. I'm happy to rest on park benches and pee behind dumpsters. Suddenly I don't feal so bad for being an under achiever. Being part of the system sounds like it costs way more money than I can afford.

notme said...

so this is what it is to be a Canadian we send money to help other nations but we fine a homeless person trying to survives instead of helping them good job fellow Canadians

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