Sunday, February 13, 2011

Homeless Father and Son

A couple of years ago, when Edward (44) found out that his son Damian (19) was living on the street, he quit his job and hitchhiked cross country to help him out. Word on the street was that things were safer north of the city. The father and son team headed to York region in search of a better life.
Edward wants to find a job, a place to call home and a chance for his son to finish high school.
But times are hard and the bureaucratic red tape of a burdened social service system impedes their best intentions. Unable to find housing, their home is a tent in the bush on the outskirt of Newmarket two nights a week (and they are not the only ones living there) when the homeless shelter is closed. The seasons roll by and so do the odd jobs.
In January, prompted by a local anti-poverty group, our local newspaper ran a few stories on Edward and Damian. The articles uncovered a side of the community that people didn't know existed in Newmarket: homelessness! Overnight, Edward and Damian became homeless stars... Offers of hope streamed in from the community.
It's interesting to review the online comments posted by readers, friends, followers and even those in opposition. Viva social media(s)! It allows us to see the other side of the coin. Dependency. Bad choices. Etc.
I read that Edward started a full time job on January 24. The funds of a recent fundraiser might be their ticket to suitable housing. It's a slow process. Damian is still using the shelter.
I wander what direction their lives will take. Sure, everyone makes bad decisions but where there is a will, there is a way to make things right. Hopefully this is the "hand up" that they've been looking for and that theirs will be a story with a happy ending. We must hope...(and not judge however tempting it might be). Time will be the teller of this one and everything else in this world.

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