You’d never know Catherine is homeless except for the hat on the sidewalk “asking” for donations.


– [Interviewer] Catherine. We’re here in Ottawa and you have a story about homelessness. Would you read it to me? – Homelessness and Panhandlers. Two sides to every story is what I describe the article to be. Panhandlers have been a
target of the media lately, both newspapers and the radio. It’s almost like a periodical thing, something to be mentioned
at someone’s right time. Then a new staff appears, a new payroll, and the people who
require the least to live suffer even more. Panhandlers do not grow up
dreaming of panhandling. For the most part they
are gentle creatures forced into circumstances
because of their nature. Black sheep is the old cliche, exiled from their homes or families, not able to recover from tragic losses by themselves, etc., etc. Illness sets in and yes,
it can take its form in addiction and most oftenly does. A means to cope with
the harshness of reality that comes along with a kind heart. In such intense financial
and political strains these panhandlers offer
up a smile and bend an ear to who might need one for free. And if you can spare a few
coins then that’s good. It’s a matter of you stopping to care more than it is for the money. Many people that I know are seriously ill having been excluded from a
good genuine healthcare system and are unable to work. Some are single mothers
whose children are now gone and growing and feel empty. That’s my story. Many times it is a history of child abuse or hereditary history. These were not the fault of the children that you see before you now. Accidents on a job site that
was not properly covered in insurance left many unable to work. The world was designed to stereotyped, divided, and conquered at
the price of forced poverty. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Poverty is the worst form of violence” and so it is. Poverty in a prescribed
way so the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. I know, I am there, and I know these people who have names. Please do not stereotype. I do not. With that, my mind and my heart are free and I can see clearly. You should be so fortunate
that circumstances have not befallen you
to such extreme dires. – [Interviewer] Wow. So, you’re couch surfing. – Yeah. – [Interviewer] Tell me about it. – I’m staying at my sisters
garage for a few days and I stay at where I can. All those people down there on the bench, I stay with them sometimes. But I am homeless. – [Interviewer] How long
have you been homeless? – Since April. – [Interviewer] Since April. That’s most of the summer. – Yeah, it’s all of the summer. – [Interviewer] What are
you doing to get out of it? – What do you mean? – [Interviewer] Is there any help? – I have to make a decision mark. I have to make a decision, yeah. – [Interviewer] What’s your future like? – I try not to look there, and I try not to look back. Day by day. – [Interviewer] If you had three wishes what would they be? – My children and I get back together. Get sober. And something politically correct
for what’s not correct. You know, I tried tracking back the money that the government allocated
for all this homelessness research when it was them
that actually caused it. Then it created a giant, just like said in my letter there, giant fucking payroll to
study what they created. And meanwhile I couldn’t
allocate any of the funds that were distributed across Canada. I couldn’t track the money. Yeah, so. But in the early 90’s
there they went through serious social spending cuts. That’s changed the rent
laws and everything. – [Interviewer] Homelessness
wasn’t like this in the 80’s? There’s places to stay? – Yeah, yeah. – [Interviewer] Well thank you very much for talking to me. – Okay.

14 thoughts on “You’d never know Catherine is homeless except for the hat on the sidewalk “asking” for donations.”

  1. Dont wait for the government and elected officials to fix the system. Help your fellow human being…in any small or large way you can. Start with empathy.

  2. She had an excellent poem ( writing ) there. Reality is though at some point you have to start owing your problems and choices rather than blame others. I wish her well.

  3. people sit on their ass and doing nothing stop listening to the media and government WAKE THE FUCK UP SHEEP HOW MUCH MORE INFO YOU NEED

  4. Watching these so makes me want to help others, unfortunately I am not in a good position myself at the moment… Luckily I do have a job (just started last week) and a car but I am getting evicted and need to move in a few weeks. Once back on my feet I will try my best to seek out some local homeless people and just take them a coffee or something and sit with them a while to lend an ear.

    If I find anyone that isn't on drugs or alcohol I will do my best to take them out of that situation… It's not that I am against people that do those things it's just I am not qualified to help them and don't have the resources, but I will sit with them and listen to them.

    Thank you for inspiring me…

  5. I been watching..I too will retire to the street in a few years when my worth will be exhausted and the rich will not lete in. There are allot of cool people out there.

  6. Very clever and astute woman here especially given the years gone by. Having worked professionally in community based projects during and after completing my music degree, I realised just how many charitable groups had high earning managers and CEOs. It seemed that more money was going to them than to help communities. For example, supposedly the UK has earmarked 100 million to help the homeless, which is great as it sounds. More hostel places/supported housing then for the vulnerable you might think? Well the government have had a policy to close hostels, end benefit support to remaining hostels/supported housing, as well as scrapping housing benefits for 18-21 year old people. Where is this money going to then? Since it is not going to address the problems our government made, the vast amount will go to the charities' senior management with nothing for the actual benefit of the vulnerable individual. More money for their mates, and if the problem persists then they will just blame the individual for being poor and vulnerable so that the government can bring in ever more punishing cuts. And then another 100 million will be found to give to 'charitable' organisations again, and so forth…yes clever lady: follow the money…

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