Their Shoes #11

Frenchy’s shoes were donated to him by a local shelter.

What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?

“Shelter. I’ve been trying to find a bachelor or one bedroom apartment for months. Right now, I’m staying with a friend. But, he’s “on drugs”.  The environment’s not good for me. I’m not welcomed by his friends. When they come over or my friend does drugs, then I leave. Walk the streets.”

“I used to have an apartment. But my friends would visit and drink a lot. Cause trouble. My landlord threw me out because of them. I’m 63 years old. I was a trucker for over 30 years. I drove all over Canada. But, my wife left me because I was never home. Things went downhill after that.”

What would you like people to know about living in poverty?

“Tell them that if you don’t believe there’s poverty, well it exists. You gotta go through it to believe it. I slept outside for two weeks before I found a friend who let me stay at their place.”

“I have family but I’m not in touch too much. I’ve two sisters and a brother. They’re going to take me out next week. For supper at a restaurant.”

“People need to know you’ve got to stay alive and keep on going. Don’t let yourself get down. Seek out old friends, if you must. There’s always someone who will help you.”

Frenchy learned of the shelter through a friend who recently started volunteering here. Since then, Frenchy can often be found elbow-deep at one of the three sinks, washing dishes. It gives him a sense of purpose. And, he can enjoy all  his meals at the shelter if desired. The shelter provides him respite from walking the streets and gets him away from the drug environment at his friend’s place. Frenchy finds a lot of support here. And, always a warm welcome.

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