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It’s simple – save money and save lives


Woman walking with shadow man
© Zora Zebic 2016

Windsor, Ontario, Canada has no hope the mayor and city council will allow practical measures to be put in place to prevent the homeless from freezing to death this coming winter. Despite the wealth of information proving these measures are working all over North America, it looks like these solutions are not going to happen.
Hamilton, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan, USA have started putting Tiny Houses into place, but our mayor and city councillors don’t feel this is a necessity for the homeless of our community. These civic leaders feel the drug addicts, and people with mental health issues should “just behave” and then the shelters they fund with taxpayer monies will once again “house” the homeless.
Really? Do they expect these hurting people to be able to cure themselves of their afflictions? Worse, do they really consider homeless shelters to be homes? The local homeless shelters used to call their programs “emergency shelter.”
My husband and I presented our ideas to the mayor. They are practical and logical, and best of all they would save the taxpayers of Windsor millions of dollars!

1) Allow a temporary Tent City on a spot of industrial land that is surrounded by warehouses. This spot exists on McDougal Avenue, in the heart of downtown. The bulk of services available to the homeless are already nearby. This space can be patrolled by the Windsor Police, who have already been hired. The hired social workers would have a location to meet their clients.
2) Open an abandoned school and turn the utilities on. That won’t cost the taxpayers too much. This would be a cost-effective way of saving lives! The police and social workers would have a safe environment to patrol and serve their clients.
3) Tiny Homes can be built, delivered and assembled for under $2,000. The charities and philanthropists could insulate these homes. The homes could be placed on lands already owned by the city. There would be a need for simple rezoning.

Now to the part you are probably curious about. How can these ideas save the taxpayers of Windsor, Ontario millions? Every single person approved for welfare is entitled to $300 per month to pay toward a room or apartment. In one year that equals $3,600. Replace the rent with a Tiny Home. Taxpayers would save $1,600 during the first year, and $3,600 per year into perpetuity!
You would think educated persons would seize upon a plan that would see immediate results and save so much money.
Let us keep in mind every drug addict and person suffering from mental health issues are somebody’s child, parent, partner or relation.

You can search on line for the multiple examples by typing in your search bar, Tiny Homes for the homeless.

It’s simple – save money and save lives.

© Zora Zebic 2018

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Saved by the rays

Brilliant white hot sun against blue sky
Brilliant sun rays © Zora Zebic 2016


I had a terrible dream, my being filled with dread when I’d woken. I remembered every detail of this dream, which is not common for me. I rose from my bed and stretched my limbs, an effort to shake the memory. This dream happened when I was 17, and now at age 61, I still have not forgotten it.

The dream was of me sitting in a movie theatre. I was without a companion, although the seats were crowded. I was puzzled because messages were quite visible on the movie screen. Messages that were not relative to the movie. They were commanding messages, telling me “You are always under surveillance.” “Obey the laws at all times.” “Do everything your government tells you to do.” “Your superiors are to be obeyed at all times.” “Your thoughts are heard.” “There is no safe place to go if you try to escape.”

I’d turned to a girl sitting beside me and asked, “Why are all these words on the movie screen?” The girl turned to look at me wearing an expression of puzzlement. She said, “What words?”

There was a sudden rustle in the audience. A lady shouted, “She sees our commands. Grab her!” Hearing that I’d bolted from my seat and ran from the scores of people who had, in obedience, risen from their seats to join the chase.

“Oh God, what have I gotten myself into this time? Please help me!” I prayed as I rushed to open the door. The swarm of people were getting closer as I burst out into the sun-filled day. The brightness of the day either blinded them, or God had answered my panicked prayer, as none had followed me out of the building.

I would later learn about “Subliminal Messaging”, but I had never heard of it then. To this day I wonder about that dream. Could my subconscious have picked up on messages while I shopped at the mall? Could my mind, not able to reconcile what was happening, force me to have the dream? Perhaps so, as I totally understood when this type of messaging was explained to me.

© Zora Zebic 2018

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Two piece hot pink tutu

Another death, a foster sister. I don’t have any photos of Carissa and so I represent her with a beautiful flower from my garden.

I’ll always remember first meeting 6 year old Carissa. She was a tiny stick shaped child, a pretty face surrounded by long blond hair. I recall her wearing a bright pink two piece bathing suit with a mini tutu skirted bottom. I’d wondered, when I first saw the bathing suit, that her mother had thought it was respectable for her small girl to flounce around the yard dressed in so little. Life with the nuns had been strict and I was not accustomed to such lack of modesty.

Carissa had been an okay kid. Not too much trouble to anyone. She did have some difficulty hiding her resentment of some, no, most of the other foster children. She had difficulty sharing her natural mother and natural father with these children of strangers. I’d always thought Carissa was rather normal and had not wasted time being angry with her, nor did I waste any time chewing it around in my mind. She was what she was, and, more importantly she was just a little kid who hadn’t been offered a choice or an opinion.

It still amazes me that the Children’s Aid had sardined 9 children and two adults into a three bedroom home in a lower middle class neighbourhood in Windsor, Ontario. This was prior to the foster parents puchasing the hotel and cottages in Oxley, Ontario.

I never did find out if he molested his own daughter Carissa, although he did threaten to do so when I refused to get into his bed. Instead he had taken Carissa and another younger foster girl, Denise into his bedroom for the night. His wife was in hospital at the time, having her rectum operated on, for reasons she hadn’t made very clear to us. Probably, simply a case of hemmorroids.

Many years later, while talking to me about the molestation of me in the foster home the investigating cop diverted his thoughts to Carissa. He told me he had always had a thing for her, since she had entered high school. I had suppressed, with difficulty, the urge to tell him what a pervert I thought he was.

The cop is about my age, and 5 years between him and Carissa would not normally be a big deal, however, he was talking about his attraction to a 14 year old girl entering grade 9 while he, at age 19 or so, had already graduated and gone on to post secondary school.

The cop, his eyes glazing over and unaware of my discomfort, told me another story of Carissa. He said the foster father had taken up with a teacher in the small nearby town and the foster mother had learned of his disgracing of her. While she didn’t care at all about his secret behaviours, including the molesting of the children, she did take great umbrage with his public display of his lack of devotion to her.

Carissa, intent on vindicating her mother had driven over to the teacher’s house in a rage. She’d proceeded to smash every window, at least all those in her reach! The teacher had pressed charges and the cop told me he had been mortified at the idea of laying criminal charges against the girl of his dreams. I had laughed so hard and had almost fallen off my chair in the police interview room.

The cop had literally pouted, causing me to laugh all the more. He had insisted I “calm down”. I asked him if he had slapped the cuffs on Carissa, and if she had resisted. I know that man wanted to jump up from his reclined office chair to slap me, but the image in my mind had been far too hilarous not to put into words!

Instead, through pursed and very angry lips he said the foster father had replaced all the windows in the house and had ended his affair with the teacher. Everyone satisfied, he had not been obligated to proceed with an arrest of Carissa.

I have often thought how I would have loved to have watched Carissa eke out some revenge on those windows! Not that her mother deserved it, for she is an evil woman, but simply because I can imagine every ounce of hate that girl had buried inside of herself for most of her life erupting from her.

I think, for the rest of my life I will imagine Carissa in a super hero costume, a two piece hot pink tutu, blasting villians with hot pink flaming thunderbolts!

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Cold Case of the Dirty Snow

* Please note I have changed the names of those written of here. The story otherwise is fact and truth.

45 years later and I remember the boy being encased in a wall. It was February 1972, and I was 15. The foster father was renovating the hotel’s kitchen. He planned to remodel the old kitchen into a games room equipped with pool tables and pinball machines.

He knew the camping children would be happy to pay to play. He was business-savvy and knew the children’s parents would finance the absence of their kids to enable them to enjoy their own adult activities. Camping kids would eventually rename the hotel with the games room “The Big House.”

I would silently chuckle years later when dealing with cops and Children’s Aid caseworkers, all expounding their beliefs Paolo, the foster father, was a “simple man, unable to hatch or carry out schemes or crimes.”

Paolo was an amazingly brilliant man who co-owned, with two of his brothers, a carpentry and house building business. He had in short order, soon after locating the hotel and cottages, sold his shares in a large hotel on Ouellette Avenue, sold his home and sold an apartment building with commercial shops on the first floor.

Paolo enjoyed his dinner conversations where he would play himself up as a “Made Man” with the Mafia. Was he? I never fully believed him, but it was very disconcerting when the local cops would drop in for a beer with their “best buddy.” How he earned their camaraderie was another question that remains unanswered.

Paolo was able to convince his newlywed brother Elias and his wife Jennie to help finance the operation. The plan was for them to move into a room in the hotel. He also convinced his wife’s brother Bill to invest his savings and move in.

It wasn’t too long before Bill, Elias, Jennie and the baby Terry gave up the dream and moved out and back to their own lives. Elias and a third brother had bought out Paolo’s shares in the family-owned carpentry business.

I would be remiss not to mention how the Children’s Aid Society latched on to the scheme presented to them by Paolo. The Children’s Aid, as he told them, could use funds meant to be spent on activities for the foster children, to ease the financial burdens on other foster families, thus enabling them to purchase campers and pay rental fees for summer camping.

I met my second youngest birth sister when her foster family camped there. Typically, the Children’s Aid had kept us isolated from one another. I am told the measure was taken to control children by taking away their personal support system.

Paolo was brilliant, and indeed, he was a man who could both conceive and bring to fruition his evil schemes and crimes.

Paolo also had at his disposal the thousands of dollars per month earnings from the dozen or more foster children in his care. The children, a free workforce as groundskeepers, housekeepers and maids for the rental cottages assured his financial success.

It continues to amaze me how the professionals were adept at protecting one of their own. That’s what it was though, protection of their perceived “normal citizen” from the horrible, and already damaged foster children.

As foster children, we had been schooled on our societal place by the Children’s Aid caseworkers. I was amazed later in life to learn most of them did not have social worker degrees!

We were advised of our failings to the community. Foster children were, as I was repeatedly told, “damaged goods,” “children who emerged from hellish conditions thoroughly affected,” “blemished and mostly nonredeemable souls,” and, “children who should be at all times grateful ANYONE would want them.”

A much smaller kitchen and laundry room had been installed in the original front offices of the hotel. For a short time before that one of those rooms had served as a bedroom for Bill.

As work on the old kitchen had gotten underway, I’d been dismayed to learn the beautiful copper top counter was being ripped out. Yvette, Paolo’s wife, despised it saying they would be too hard to keep clean.

I still recall looking at her with amazement and my words of response, “I don’t know what difference that would make to you. You don’t do any of the housework anyway.” Yvette had glared her usual face at me while Paolo had chuckled.

Yvette’s youngest sister was the paid hired help. Yvette had explained to me that Jasmin had been herself a wayward soul, accumulating children and no decent man would now look at her. I liked Jasmin and thought she was a classy, beautiful and, like me, an utterly overworked servant to the dame Yvette.

I had my faith in God renewed one day when Jasmin announced her parents had financed a house for her and her children! Yvette was livid when she learned, money she had perceived to be part of her inheritance had been spent on her youngest sister. I was elated and did nothing to hide my great pleasure in Yvette’s wailing and misery!

It was late, past my bedtime, and I’d crept downstairs and tiptoed into the old kitchen, for a last look at the copper counter. I will be sincere here and also tell of my own financial crimes in that household, a secondary reason for sneaking down to the first floor!

During the first month after taking possession of the house, the foster children were corralled and brought down to the basement. The rooms had been used as storage and housed mounds of aged commercial kitchen dishes, cups, bowls, serving platters, cutlery, cooking pots, utensils and other miscellaneous items.

Yvette told us our task was to clean out the rooms. Everything was to go out to the temporary dumpster Paolo had rented. Our reward, Yvette said we could keep any “treasures” we found.

I was elated to find a small dark green metal box. A key was in the lock, and I opened it to find another key taped inside. Fearing dropping it, I slipped the loose key into my jeans pocket and rushed over to the small pile of goodies I had found. Yvette stopped me, demanding to see the box.

After examining it, she said, “I’m keeping that.” I was upset and reminded her of her promise we could keep any treasures we found. Yvette sneered at me and said, “I didn’t mean anything of quality.” I watched her walk away, her nose high in the air as I gently fingered the second key in my pocket.

Yvette’s greed would be her own undoing. She had taken her prize into the back office where they checked in and out the campers. Yvette proudly lied to Paolo saying she had found a moneybox, complete with key.

For more than a year it had been my great pleasure to be blackmailed over any truth or lie the other children could come up with. Their payment, always the same, I was to rob the moneybox and turn the proceeds over to them. I loved it, every moment of it.

My plan for Paola to lose faith in his wife was conceived! I never kept any of the money. The only money I used came from the parents whose children I babysat. Yvette knew my earnings exactly and pained over every penny I spent trying to prove my guilt. In her obsession to catch me, and to my utter amusement, she failed to notice the items purchased by the other children!

Yes, it was ritualistic for me to rob the moneybox, however, on that one night, I honestly had wanted a sad and long last look at the mesmerizing copper counter. I don’t recall seeing the copper counter, though. I was too shocked at another sight that unfolded before me.

A boy was inside a partially covered wall, his eyes pleading with me to help. His mouth was gagged shut, and his hands were trussed tight to his sides, bound with some sort of fabric strips.

Horrified, I asked Paolo what the hell he thought he was doing. He grabbed me by the arm and dragged me through the massive hotel lobby/dining room then through the chandeliered smaller dining room. He pushed me to go up while hissing he was just scaring the boy as punishment and warned me to mind my business.

There was no telephone on the second floor to call the police, and I was too frightened to go back down the stairs.

I didn’t sleep that night, and I never did see that boy again. At breakfast the next morning Yvette announced the boy had run away as Paolo crunched away at his breakfast never looking up from his plate.

After washing up the dishes, I’d gone to look at the wall and saw it was covered entirely over. The wallboard was puttied, sanded and painted. Paolo would have had to stay up all night to complete the task.

Peering out the windows at the driveway, in hopes of seeing the boys footprints in the dirty snow, I saw nothing.

Twenty years later, in 1992, I was in a Police interview room with a Constable of the Colchester Township Police. Paolo had been arrested on numerous charges of child molestation, and the constable wanted to hear my story if I had one.

During my interview, I’d told him of the numerous times I’d been sexually abused. I told him about the anal rape and how Paolo’s wife had helped pin me down. She was fully aware of the actions of her husband. She was a willing participant.

I also told the constable about the boy inside the wall. I was disappointed but not surprised when he suggested it had merely been a dream or nightmare.

I’d demanded the Roman Catholic Children’s Aid let me read my file. Initially, they denied me access telling the constable my case file was protected under adoption laws. I clarified I had not been adopted and the police said they could not refuse. They did ultimately turn over my case file, minus all medical records, for me to read.

In the case file, I read a report by a worker that I thought should substantiate my story. At the least, I hoped, the constable would acknowledge the information gave my account sufficient credibility to warrant his investigation.

The Children’s Aid worker had written five adolescent children had run away from the foster home. The first had been a boy in February 1972!

I’d told the constable of the entry. He replied he wasn’t about to rip open walls based solely on an alleged memory of a foster child with mental health issues, and a Children’s Aid note of a child who had run away.

I asked the constable, “Does it ever end? Does the day ever arrive that our words as foster children can be perceived as a possible truth? Will foster children ever be regarded as worthy people?” Not surprisingly, the constable had nothing to say.

What kind of legal system do we have when a cop has the authority to decide whether or not to investigate a reported crime? Sadly, that is precisely how it is, it truly is up to the cop to determine whether a crime may or may not have been committed.

I was the second of the five runaways. I’d snuck out a second-story window in the middle of the night five months later during July 1972.

Witnessing the terrified boy shaking with fear, I’d known he was confident of being buried alive in the wall. I will never forget his eyes pleading with me for help.

Feeling threatened and unable to do anything I’d crept away to my bedroom. I was convinced from that moment on Paolo was going to make me his next murder victim.

Regardless of how many times I have told this story, the wall remains intact. 45 years later and I remember the boy inside the wall.


© Zora Zebic 2017

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A sad story

abandoned ladies loafers with cigarette butts

When she put on her shoes that day, I suppose she was expecting a bit of flattery. She didn’t get that from the man she has taken on as her life partner. He is a thief and drug addict and she found it easier to join him in all his activities than to insist he become a real man. She couldn’t imagine life without him; it was a choice of losing him or becoming a loser.

It is so very sad she made this choice. If you could see her you would wonder at her love for him. He is not an ugly man, but there is little about him that is attractive. He is tough, tattooed in every imaginable part of his body. Not that tattoos are unattractive, but the designs he has had etched to cover him are meant to instil fear. She is beautiful. She can turn the head of most men and yet she does not notice any of them now. It is sad.

She stole a young girl’s bike and the girl came in to tell me. The girl was crying and she looked a mess compared to what I’d seen a few minutes before. She told me the woman had hit her. I rewound the video and watched the entire incident. In my opinion, enough for the police to charge the woman with both theft and assault.

The girl called the police, who came and refused to look at the video. Instead, they told the girl they would get her bike back. They shocked me when they told her the woman was related to a fellow cop and things would get worse for her if she charged the woman!

The young girl was terrified. She asked me what the cops had meant when they said that to her. “Did they mean they would make things worse for me, or did they just mean the woman a cop is related to would make things worse for me?” I sighed deeply and answered her, “I don’t know. I do know that a lawyer would consider their statement to be intimidation.”

She looked at me with a puzzled expression, and I thought she was going to faint from the shivering which had taken over her since the start of the theft and assault. “Either way it is bad for me. I’m best to do nothing.” I felt sad for her and I gave her all the support I could offer at that point, a motherly hug.

The girl let me take photos of her injuries, in case she changed her mind. I told her the video evidence would not remain in the DVR memory past 5 days. She would have to make her decision soon. That was more than a week ago and I haven’t heard from her. I can only pray things did not get worse for her.

I have the photos of her injuries that I cannot share. I can share the photo of the shoes abandoned by the abusive thief. A sad story with no ending, yet.

© Zora Zebic 2016

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Stillness of the attic

In your fear you tied the handle of the door, thinking to trap me, I suppose. I sit here in the darkness and stillness of the attic. I see you watching, waiting for me to show myself to you, but that will never happen. You shine your light in your failed attempt to illuminate me. I hear your breathing laboured by your anxiety and feel the sweat on your brow. All this stress you put upon yourself when in reality I am simply a product of your imagination.