Archive for December, 2014

Late Nite Vibez

Homeless people in England die 30 years younger than the national average according to the most comprehensive study ever on mortality and cause of death in people living rough, in hostels and night shelters, by the University of Sheffield.

Following the research, Crisis – the national charity for single homeless people who commissioned the study – have called for NHS restructuring to consider the needs of people living on the streets.

The report, titled Homelessness Kills: a study of the mortality of homeless people in England in the 21st century was carried out by Dr Bethan Thomas of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography.

Drawing on different datasets, Dr Thomas analysed more than 1,700 deaths in England for the period 2001-2009 to estimate the average age of death not just for rough sleepers, as previous studies have, but for the wider homeless population, including those who reside in night…

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Following is a message I received on another board. It comes from Christopher in Wyoming.
ok well here we go. i was 8 yrs old when i started to have seizures in went to every doctor imaginable tell i was 14 yrs of age when i went to barrows intute down in Phoenix AZ. Down there they did brain surgry in remove a banana sized brain tumor it stopped the seizgures until 3 yrs. ago when on a drilling rig i had my first seizgure since i was 14 i am 36 now i was 34 then. Since then i cant find a job cause every job that i go to does not want to hire me because of my disablity. which makes it hard to find work in this town of Casper Wy. i did own my own house with rentals. i lost that due to bills i lost the truck i was driving due to my seizgures i cant even afford to look ne where becausae im dumb foded by the lack of respect that paople have now dayz for my illness in for the fact that that i was doing good 3 years ago had my own house my own job that i was at for 8 in a half years. girl friend that i planned on marrying. all that went out the window. that day. i lost everything. includeing self respect its been hard to find a job at X-mas time in that im homeless doesnt make it any better i broke there are times were i wonder if life is worth living at all is there any hope for me people look at me different i now have no friends i have none of anything people want do they even want me around its hard to live this life in keep my head up when theres no one that cares my family dont care they were the first ones to go. my friends next to the point where i have to decepre whos a friend in whos not cause people now days can take you for all your worth in not look back. I dont know ne more they are days when i wake up with a smile on my face in it all goes
Hi Christopher, thank you very much for your message. Life is certainly unfair. All we can do is take it one moment at a time. Try not to dwell on what happened in the past. Now is the only time we can make a difference in our lives. I wish you love and happiness for the future




Chuck was bundled up with thick mitts,  a scarf wrapped around his neck and chin, a woolen cap pulled low on his forehead. His glasses were frosted. He said, “The other day, Joy was pissed off with Ghyslain for cutting her grass. Ghyslain was pissed off with her because she hasn’t been around much and he’s been using her spot. I never have problems with other pan handlers. I was at the corner near the coffee shop and Ghyslain was half way down the block. The people who gave money to me wouldn’t have given to him and the people who regularly give to him wouldn’t give to me.  You notice neither Ghyslain or Joy are here this morning. They probably think they’re avoiding each other when there’s no need.

“Did I tell you the story about me climbing the tree. Obviously, this happened a long time ago when I was still drinking. I came in one night drunk as a skunk. I managed to get up when the alarm rang. I took a cold shower, dressed and walked over to my brother-in-law’s place. That was when we both worked at the brush factory. I knocked on his door — no answer. I went around back, knocked on that door — no answer. I went around to the side. There was a tree right beside the window, so I shinnied up, jimmied the window and climbed inside. I knocked on his bedroom door. He opened the door all bleary eyed. I said, ‘Get dressed, we have to go to work.’ He handed me the car keys and said, ‘You go down and warm up the car. I’ll be there shortly. So I did, I started the car, slid over to the passenger seat — they had bench seats back then. My brother-in-law got behind the wheel and asked me, ‘How did you manage to get into my house?’ I told him how I got in. He asked, ‘How did you get out?’ I said, ‘The same way, I slid down the tree.’ He said, ‘But you had the keys in your hand. I’m driving you home. You’re in no condition to work.’ He was right, we used very dangerous equipment. To trim the brushes I used a saw, where the blade was turning hundreds of miles an hour. My fingers were a fraction of an inch from that spinning blade.

‘The brushes were held together with wire. Sometimes, not very often, the wire would snap and knock my glasses across the room.”

I asked, “Were you wearing safety glasses?”

“No, we had no safety equipment at all. There was a woman working on a machine that trimmed these extra fluffy brushes. She’d been on it for years. She choked on a piece of fluff and died.”

“Well, This is the last day I’ll be here this winter. It’s just too cold for Goldie. So have a Merry Christmas and we’ll see you in the warm weather.”

“Merry Christmas, Chuck!”





17 December 2014

“Hi Joy, how are your legs today?”

“They’re sore. Yesterday I could hardly walk. I think I may have water on my knee, it’s swollen.”

“Are you going to see a doctor?”

“Not if I can help it. I have a doctor, but he creeps me out. He’s one of those guys under a turban. I just don’t feel comfortable around him and it’s hard to understand what he’s saying.

“I hate that Ghyslain is panning on the corner. He’s cutting my grass. I think he’s on crack. One day he was bragging about how much he’d collected, the next day he said he was broke. If I’d made that much it would have lasted me a week. Not only that, he’s only here when the weather’s good, then he fucks off to Rimouski. We don’t see him again for six months.”

I asked, “Have you read any more of my book lately?”

“Not much. I’m a slow reader. I can only wear my glasses for so long, before I get a headache. I like the parts about Big Jake, though. He want’s to read it after I’m finished.

“He’s been coming by early lately. The Mission kicks him out at 7:30. If he doesn’t leave then he’s stuck there the whole day. I’m going to have to kick him out for a while. I’ll be seeing enough of him at Christmas.”

I said, “He’s got lots of friends, There are plenty of places he could go.

“Is there any word about the scooter you were going to get?”

“I’m waiting for Buck to bring it to me.”

“I hear that Chuck will be getting a new chair as well.”

“Yeah, I wish they’d hurry up. If he gets a new one, maybe I could get the one he’s using now. I’d be happy with that.”

“Is André out of hospital now?”

“Yeah he’s out. Now he thinks he can drop over to my place anytime he wants. He’d come over at 9:30 in the morning. I told him, ‘Phone first, or I won’t let you in.’ He tried it a couple of times. I saw him at the window and said, ‘Not today, now get lost.’

“He’s pissed with Hippo because of the bike he sold him. It didn’t come with a lock, but Hippo took one when he left. I said, ‘You know where he lives. Go straighten him out.’

I said, “Big Jake could visit André. They both seem to be looking for friends.”

Joy said, “That won’t happen, because of the beating André laid on me.”

“How has Jake been treating you?”

“He’s okay. He knows what’ll happen if he raises his hand to me.”


New Amazon Review

Posted: December 7, 2014 in Uncategorized
5.0 out of 5 stars From ambivalent to better informed, December 7, 2014
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book in part because it was advertised as “proceeds to charity.” After reading a few pages, it was apparent the author already had been giving generously to the homeless folks he met on the street.

Most people seem to have definite opinions on the subject of panhandlers. I’ve always been ambivalent. I read this book to become better informed. The author did not disappoint. He presents a wide variety of personalities and situations and leaves it up to the reader to draw conclusions. I encourage others to read it for a better understanding of the issue of homelessness. Although these conversations take place in Canada, I’m sure they would be much the same anywhere. The author skillfully recreated these conversations without recording them.

It was helpful for me to take a few notes on those who reappear often. I would have preferred to follow a few stories instead of struggling to remember a huge cast, many of whom played small parts over a period of months.

I felt a range of emotions while reading, including anger, sympathy, frustration, sadness, and hopefulness. The book is well worth reading and will leave you grateful for what you have.


4.0 out of 5 stars
Book is Worth Reading, December 5, 2014
Shirley McLain (Sapulpa Oklahoma) – See all my reviews


Verified Purchase
This review is from: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (Kindle Edition)


This Canadian author set out to make a difference in the lives of the street people he met and i think he accomplished that. Anytime you treat people with dignity even if they don’t fit societies mold you make a difference. You get to know the stories characters through the conversation Dennis had with them. With this book Dennis opens the eyes of the reader to another world that most of us don’t want to be involved with. It’s a book that is worth reading.


The Sunday Shows

Posted: December 4, 2014 in Prose

The Sunday Shows.

5.0 out of 5 stars:   A Collection of Conversations with a Huge Heart,

December 2, 2014
By horrorgirldonna “author of Notes from the End… (Pawleys Island, SC)

This review is from: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (Kindle Edition)
Dennis Cardiff, a Canadian author, spends his days writing about and helping the homeless. What he’s done with this collection is open up the eyes of people who have a negative view of street people—he gives them a face. The real heroine of the book is Joy, a woman who made the choice of a roof over her head with an abusive boyfriend, or life on the street, but free from the abuse.

It’s an often difficult reminder that we’re all human. What I thought was especially interesting is the lack of homeless stereotypes. Instead, each one of the people Cardiff mentions is a strong and interesting individual who has experienced some tough circumstances. Although this journal reads like fiction, it is indeed very real. The writing is not flowery, but instead a no-nonsense daily account of a group of panhandlers in Toronto through conversation. How did these people get there, and are they very different from you or me?

This is an interesting look into a world that is thankfully unfamiliar to most of us. It’s a difficult, yet heartwarming read. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys good nonfiction.

New Amazon Review

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Prose
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening., December 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)


Gotta Find a Home, is not a quick read or a happy one. It’s a journal about the lives of the homeless, and while it isn’t all doom and gloom, its anything but light hearted.


Dennis Cardiff has helped street people for years, and it shows in his understanding of their worries, concerns and needs. Rather than throwing money at them, he tries to help them gain more control over their situation. One very refreshing part of reading this book, is that he didn’t really push politics or an idea that “You Must” do whatever he says to make things better. It would be so easy to preach his point of view, the fact that he didn’t shows his respect for the reader. I appreciated it.


Through the journal like chapters, it shows just how widespread the homeless community is. People are constantly being mentioned and talked about that we never learn much about, but everyone else knows. It gets confusing, but it lets us see that these groups aren’t isolated from each other, even if they’re ignored by the mainstream. Its kind of eye opening.


I really li ked this despite feeling depressed while reading parts of it, because Cardiff shows through his work that small bits of kindness can really help people. So despite wanting to give my daughter a big hug after reading parts of it, I’m happy I got it.