Thursday 27 June 2013

Back Home

Buster and I walked past the Village Square Leisure centre today on our walk. It has changed somewhat in the past week due to the flood that has hit the city. The building itself is the same of course; it is just that the people who are using the facility aren’t the same as the people that normally are there.

It is being used as a reception centre for those that have had to evacuate their normal residence. The facilities are being reserved for their use, as it should be. It seems that a lot of the people who are there are from the Drop In Centre in downtown Calgary.

The Drop In Centre is mainly for the homeless in downtown Calgary. They are homeless for varied reasons, but all have somehow or other slipped through the cracks of our social safety net. There have been many cuts over the years to social programs that at one time would look after most of these unfortunate people. In recent years, there are many that are the working poor, people with jobs but who are unable to afford housing. It has been about twenty years since Calgary has built any affordable housing and the apartments that used to be affordable have been converted into condos. It is one of those quirks of life that a city that is so concerned with accumulating wealth; we would have so many poor people.

Such is life I suppose. As I mentioned, a good number of people from the drop in centre are in our neighbourhood until the city manages to clean up the downtown core. I think one of the hardest things about being poor (aside from not having money) is that you have all sorts of free time with nothing to do. I have all sorts of free time with nothing to do, but I suppose the difference is that I have a place where I can do nothing for as long as I want. I also have access to a certain amount of money that fuels my coffee habit.

It just seems wrong for the streets of suburbia to have the homeless wandering around aimlessly by themselves or in pairs. Wrong in the sense that you know something is out of kilter. Some of the tot lots have nice shady spots where they can just enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having the past few days. I suppose this is the life they live and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of difference to me. I don’t count though, they are not in the place they have come to know as home and home is a state of mind as much as it is a place.

I don’t like it when I am not at home and I can sympathize with the people that have been evacuated from where they find comfort. I hope that they can get their lives back as soon as possible.

When I started to write tonights blog, I knew that I wouldn't be able to get the point across that is in my head, and I was right. I kind of sound like I don't want the homeless in my neighbourhood. The evacuees have been nothing but polite and thankful for all that is done for them. What I wanted to say is that I couldn't live their life and it takes a special kind of person to do so. I am just not that brave or resilient. 

If I sound like an ass, I apologize. Not for being an ass, I can't help that, but for sounding like an ass that doesn't like the evacuees.

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