Archive for October 25, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars
Delightful book., October 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
I have often wondered what it might be like to life on the street. I have also wondered if there was any truth in what people say about people who are homeless. What I found reading “Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People” by Dennis Cardiff is that it doesn’t matter what others think of people who are homeless because they are people too.

In “Gotta Find a Home…” I was able to read some very heartwarming stories that Dennis learned directly from the people whom he befriended on the streets where he lived. I enjoyed learning more about his friends’ lives. The thing that I gained the most from this book was the understanding and appreciation that while we cannot help everyone we can do something whether it is a bit of breakfast, a coffee, or just a kind smile every little bit of human decency that we exhibit to all those around us is helpful.

If you enjoy reading heartwarming real life stories then you will definitely enjoy this book.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Heartwarming, October 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be homeless, jobless, or simply underemployed? In “Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People,” Dennis Cardiff gives us a glimpse into the lives of some kind individuals whose lives have been struck with misfortune. I know I have been told countless times that giving money to a homeless person is unwise as they will just spend it on alcohol and/or drugs, and while that can be true, this story showed a picture of human beings beyond the stereotypes.

In “Gotta Find a Home…” Cardiff shares real life conversations that he has had with friends he has made on the street. My favorite conversations were those that he had with a woman named Joy. While she often had a roof over her head, that roof came with an abusive boyfriend, unsupportive friends, extra hands that demanded of her time and care.

While Joy was my favorite, all of the stories really brought to life the reality that all of these people are real human beings, not just some statistic that we walk past on the street and avert our eyes. I found it all very moving and well worth the read.

.

.bench

24 August 2014

“HI, Dennis, I got a joke for you,” said Chuck.  There was this blind guy with a seeing-eye dog who would go to all the Maple Leaf hockey games. Every time they would leave the game they would stop for a while, the dog would cry.  A man who had noticed this on a number of times asked, ‘What does the dog do when the Leafs win?’ The blind man said, ‘I don’t know, I’ve only had him for six years.’

Later at the park, I asked the group if there had been any further news about the death of Alphonse. Outcast said, “It’s official, he was found hanged. Whether or not he took his own life nobody knows. I do know that he’s tried it before when he stayed with me. I had to haul him back off the balcony.”

I asked, “Do the police suspect that foul play was involved?” Mariah said, “This is Montreal we’re talking about. It’s a rough city. If he said the wrong thing to the wrong people, that’s all it would take. Personally, I think he was fucked.”

Outcast said, “I agree, he was fucked.”

Jacques said, “That’s another of us gone. I wonder who will be next.”

Little Jake put up his hand.

Mariah said, “Me.”

I asked her, “How have you been feeling lately? Is your back still giving you problems?”

“Well, my back always gives me problems. Some days are worse than others. Some days I can’t get out of bed. I’ve also got osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Either one of those is always acting up, but today isn’t too bad.”

“How has Joy been feeling?” I asked. “Is she getting out at all?”

“Yeah, she’s able to manage the stairs to come up to my place every once in a while. Big Jake was drunk yesterday. She’s still trying to get rid of him.”

I said, “I heard that she’s stopped panhandling because he takes any extra money she gets.”

Little Jake said, “Dennis, I’m sorry that I’m drunk.”

Jacques said, “You’re always drunk. You shouldn’t apologize for being drunk. You should apologize if you’re ever sober.”

“Yeah, ” he said, “That’s true.”

Outcast introduced me to Debbie. He said to me, “You mentioned, the other day, something about a TV interview. I’ve been giving it some thought and Debbie and I may be interested.”

“That’s great,” I said, “I’ll let my brother-in-law know. He has all the contacts.”

Debbie said, to me, “Just today I lost my job. I’ve been bullied lately and had a letter I was going to hand in concerning the situation, when I heard about losing my job. I have some mental illness. I get very depressed sometimes.”

I said, “I also have mental illness: bipolar, paranoid personality and obsessive compulsive disorders. I’ve taken medication for them for the past twenty-five years.”

Debbie said, “I have borderline personality disorder. I also take medication, and I have a prescription for medical marijuana. I still have to pay five dollars per gram. I won’t be able to afford that, now that I don’t have a job.”

Outcast said, “We should all move to Smith Falls, they’ve turned the old Hershey plant into a medical marijuana operation. Maybe they’d give out free samples.”

.

.