On one of his walks my husband spied a very young homeless couple entering an abandoned home. He asked me to grab my camera and go back with him. The house was mostly boarded yet a back door, hanging weakly on it’s hinges showed a dismal view inside. Not wanting to be accosted for trespassing I nervously snapped a few photos.
The clutter did not capture my eye, instead it was the bottle of pink nail polish. I’d said to Barry, “Even in her state of utter poverty she yearns to look pretty.” I felt a pang in my chest as I’d said the words. These young people are somebody’s children. They are afraid, lost and living in conditions unfit for human inhabitation. Does it really matter why they have run away? Shouldn’t we still care for these children?
I founded my agency, Street Help Homeless Centre of Windsor over 17 years ago. Through all these years I have been witness to many of the horrible places people are forced to live in. Abandoned buildings, unheated garages, tents in backyards, under porches, in cardboard boxes, in wooded areas, automobiles and even garbage dumpsters.
Our social safety net is full of gigantic holes, so many that few are caught and raised up to decent standards of living. I have always said “The only good Service Provider is one who is trying to work themselves out of a job.” I mean that. It would be wonderful for me to retire witnessing an end to homelessness in Windsor, Ontario!
© Zora Zebic 2016