HOMELESSNESS

The concept of homelessness. Meaning, a person lives in the street, out in the open and does not have a specific address or dwelling. (definition = without a dwelling, as per Wikipedia). I stand corrected. Being that most dwellings have become more or less unaffordable for regular (working, having a job and a family to support) citizens, no wonder that those who decided to live in the street – rather than look for a job or even irregular work – are without a dwelling. Standing corrected again: In Victoria BC alone there are now around seven major shelters with around 100 beds (and more in the planning) for those who decided it is easier to live in the street and beg for money than to put the effort in to find some work opportunities. Work is abundant. The “homeless” shelters provide food and bedding. Health care is free. Canada – as all know is a cold country in general, not always. Summer heat can go up to 30C or over in areas. On the Pacific Side where I live now for over 10 years, the weather is milder throughout the year, but more rain and wind. That’s why we get more people here from across Canada, who lie around in the streets.

This homeless concept strikes me as controversial. What is a home ? A home is where your family is and where you grew up. Where your country is of which you are a citizen. One thing I noted is, that after years of observing the “street people” I never met one other than a Canadian, and a Caucasian. Mostly they are also men. On the West Coast, people who arrive here from other parts of Canada and declare themselves homeless mostly have a home elsewhere, where their families are.

[In contrast: in the German language we have two concepts: (1) Obdachlos = (without a roof) – homeless; (2) Heimatlos = (without a home) – without a country, without a family, without anything.] I myself am of the second kind. My country got totally destroyed during WWII, my family got killed. I have nobody. I was also homeless several times, having had to live in an old car for months, on a different continent North America, no family, just my little boy with me. And no government gave us shelter or a pennies’ worth of anything. But I found a job and work and worked my way up again. And the good part ? I never begged anybody for money.

Images showing today’s homeless, and myself with son traversing USA in our HOBOMOBILE. scan0005scan0112Marrakech 024CentrPark

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