HOMELESSNESS

The concept of homelessness. Meaning, a person living in the street, out in the open and does not have a specific address or dwelling. (definition = without a fixed dwelling, as per Wikipedia). I stand corrected. Being that most dwellings have become more or less unaffordable for regular (working, having a job and/or a family to support) citizens, no wonder that those who decided to live in the street – rather than look for a job or even irregular work – are without a dwelling.

Standing corrected again: In Victoria BC alone there are around seven major shelters with around 100 beds (and more in the planning) for those who decided it is easier to live in the street and beg for money than to put the effort in to find some work opportunities. Work is abundant. The “homeless” shelters provide food and bedding. Health care is free. For up-to-date stats: [ https://victoriahomelessness.ca/ ]

Canada is a cold country in general, not always, not anymore, not everywhere. Summer heat can go up to 30C or over in areas. On the Pacific Side where I live now for almost 20 years (compared to many years in Alberta – often down to minus 40C), the weather is milder throughout the year, but more rain and wind. That’s why we get more people here from across Canada, Canadians who mostly have family elsewhere in Canada, drifted in here and remained. Becoming HOMELESS. For example Vancouver, Strahcona Park, turned into a “tent city” of 400. For more: [ https://bc.ctvnews.ca/homelessness-in-vancouver-council-considers-plan-for-encampment-amid-calls-for-its-closure-1.5137751 ].

This homeless concept strikes me as controversial. What is a home ? A home is where your family is and where you grew up. Where your country is of which you are/or where a citizen. One thing I noted is, that observing the “street people” I never met one, other than a Canadian, and a Caucasian. Mostly they are also men. On the West Coast, people who arrive here from other parts of Canada and declare themselves homeless mostly have a home elsewhere, where their families are. [In contrast: in the German language we have two concepts: (1) Obdachlos = (without a roof) = homeless; (2) Heimatlos = (without a home, country, = without a country, without a family, without anything.]

I myself am of the second kind. My country got totally destroyed during WWII, most of my family got killed. I was also homeless several times, having had to live in an old car for up to three months, on a different continent North America, no family, just my little boy with me. Not a penny from any government, or any shelter or a pennies’ worth of anything. Despite the fact that I worked professionally since 1955 (first in Europe many years, many countries), then since arriving in North America (USA, graduate studies M.Sc. program Syracuse University; then Canada, arriving here circumstantially).

But I found a job immediately (several days after arriving here as Landed Immigrant, and work, working my way “up again” (Alberta oil industry). And the good part ? I never begged anybody for money. Nor, have I ever received one penny from any government (neither unemployment insurance, nor any subsidies), that can be considered a (not earned) ‘handout’.

A few images showing homeless people, and myself with son traversing USA in our HOBOMOBILE, living in it for months.