Who is Accountable for Bad Housing

Who is Accountable for Bad Housing

I recently listened to a podcast by Elizabeth Hames for CBC Radio. The podcast series is called ‘Slumtown’ and it consists of five episodes, the first title is ‘The Neighbours.’ I thought the episode would depict not only the not in my backyard’ (NIMBY) point of view but also the homeless, addicted and mental health folks who reside in those neighbourhoods. It did not.

Does My Voice Really Matter?

Does My Voice Really Matter?

Sometimes people in marginalized or impoverished situations get invited to participate in surveys, group sessions and focus groups. What I wonder is, who are these data collection gatherings actually for? In theory, the basis is to help the marginalized and/or impoverished to receive better access to the necessary services. Of course, these services are in fact defined by social and government designs. What does this mean? Well for me - being considered "marginalized" or “living in poverty,” I get to participate in the process that will inevitably help me maneuver through the system. A system designed with bias. 

Homeless Memorial Reflection

Homeless Memorial Reflection

For the last 14 years, the Edmonton Coalition on Homelessness and Housing organizes a Homeless Memorial to honour those who have died due to the effects of homelessness in the last year. I was first asked four years ago to share my personal story of how housing changed my life after living homeless for many years. I spoke two years in a row and each time I emphasized what I would like to see change for my fellow neighbours experiencing homelessness.

A support system can make a big impact

A support system can make a big impact

The majority of the North American population are not required to live in constant survival mode and likely do not understand what true survival actually is. The average person usually thinks of survival as the most obvious and basic items such as clothes on your back, stay close to food and water, have a place to get rest and find a way to get from A to B. There’s much more to survival.

Ask for Change

Ask for Change

Regularly I get to work with government officials to advise on these very subjects. I advocate to keep all levels of government accountable to us, their citizens. Anyone can do this. If you are reading this, you can ask your politicians the same questions.

Homeless but not hopeless

Homeless but not hopeless

I got in trouble with the law and was sent to jail for a year. I ended up in Calgary at Spy Hill. Once I was let out, I didn’t have a place to go and ended up living outdoors in Calgary.

My Struggle With Shame

I have tried to work with my disability, however I have a lot of challenges. I was unable to do anything with my hopeless state of mind and my body. Because of this, I have lived on AISH my entire life. This can be isolating, I don’t have the means to do the things I want or buy things I may need. There’s so much I would like to have or do while I am still alive, but I am unable.

The Disabling Impact of Poverty

The Disabling Impact of Poverty

I believe poverty is the biggest barrier for people with disabilities. Poverty prevents people from a happy, healthy and positive quality of life. It can make a person feel worthless, alone and like they cannot achieve or attain the things they want to in life - or at least that is how it has made me feel.