The Face of Homelessness

Two of our “grown up” friends showed up at Why Not tonight, a bitterly cold evening. Erin gave them each a cup of hot soup.

This couple comes when things are especially hard; basically we always know that they need a little extra kindness when they show up. Whether that is a sleeping bag, a bowl of soup, first aid, or a shower, we do what we can to make their current situation a bit gentler.

They are homeless. In better days, he was a trucker and she was a homemaker and mom to their kids. They speak of their kids with nick names and wistfulness. We let them use our phone to call the kids on their birthdays.

Their situation is, of course, complicated.  Whenever I see them, I remind them that there is hope, when they are ready. Between the drugs and the bad luck, it is hard for them to see hope.  Honestly, it is hard for me, too. But I have to believe that a different reality is possible and if they say the word, we will be there to advocate and point the way.

Although Why Not Youth centre is primarily, well, for youth… occasionally we get to build rapport with members of the greater homeless community.  There isn’t enough we can do to help but we do what we can.

I’ll tell you this. Every nickel, every pair of socks you give to Why Not goes to help people whose soaking wet shoes we will never have to walk in on a freezing winter night.

Our recent fundraiser, the Coldest Night of the Year is an effort to feel a little of what our friends feel on a frigid night like this, while doing what we can to raise funds. Funds that through Why Not will go toward keeping our doors open and our lights and heat on.  That way, when our friends come knocking, we are able to be there and offer the help they need.