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The 5 Days Blog

2018 – Night #5

Kristen Volstad


I will be in the shower less than 24 hours from now. Oh my goodness. Like, I really hope the others are joking about doing a sniff test on our feet on the last day because they. are. rank. 

Last night I was warm and cozy thanks to the excellent ​spot John and I scouted, but seeing as it was the last night with just the five of us, everyone felt it was necessary to stay up til 2 am telling our life stories (except Autumn, she slept through mine and Anja’s). Thankfully, we had finally accumulated enough roll up the rim free coffees for us all to have coffee this morning – my first caffeine this week, and it was amazing.

I needed the caffeine because I had my first afternoon off this week so I spent it box-shaking and scrounging for donations. By the end of the afternoon all I could think about walking down the hall was how exhausted I was and how much my feet hurt (oh my god, wearing boots for 16 hours a day for four days straight is so much worse than it sounds) when I was stopped in the hall by a woman who introduced herself and said she works for EGADZ and they’re so appreciative of the work we’re doing. It was perfect timing when I needed a little morale boost. 

Tonight is improv night and I’m unfortunately writing this blog before the show so all I can do at this point is speculate on the fun and creative ways they have planned to make us humiliate ourselves. Can’t wait!

Anja Eliasson 

One person asked me yesterday “what will you be taking away from this”? Not a very surprising question but I still had a hard time giving an answer that was comprehensible. The answer is that it is so many things. The absolute most obvious one is how extremely tough it must be to not have a stable place to call your home. Not because what we have experienced has been extremely hard, I would rather argue the opposite. Sure we have been cold as …. at times. We are a bit sleep deprived and we could all really use a shower (especially Baxter) but with that said we have gotten so much support through it all. The VP internals have been with us every night and every morning and most likely slept even less then us so lots of hugs and kisses to Jazmin and Papa Sean. Thanks to Abby and Shay for all of your support, your goodnight and good morning runs and all the hard work around the campaign. This last part here of course goes to every single one in the organising committee. Of course I will not leave out the fact that I have had 4 wonderful individuals next to me every single night keeping me warm and giving me emotional support. All the love for you guys!!!

What I am trying to say is that one of the worst things about being homeless must be to feel alone. Being stigmatized and being viewed as less of a human being by others in the community. We have gotten a small small taste of how hard it would be to not sleep inside in a bed at night. To not have anything else then the clothes you are wearing, to carry the things that you need with you, to struggle with personal hygiene. For food I can’t really say anything, I have not been hungry many times at all, there has been no lack of food (THANKS). But I have never felt alone.

I have touched upon it earlier during the week BUT, we need to take care of each other. See each other.

This week has been nothing like being homeless but my perspective on my privileges and the things I take for granted has drastically changed and for that I am thankful. I am thankful for EGADZ and the work that they do, I really admire this organisation and tomorrow we are gonna smash the 20.000$ goal I hope!! I am also extremely thankful and happy that I will be sleeping in my own warm bed tomorrow night, not gonna lie you guys!

I think that is it for me. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of this campaign in any way during this week, weather you have donated your time, your money or clothes/other items. When this is over please remember that EGADZ still exists, these problems still exists so make sure you go into their website every once in a while, check out their wish list or go and donate your time – you will not be disappointed. Thanks for letting me be a part of this campaign, I will do my best to try and spread the spirit of this campaign back home in Sweden or maybe even replicate it, who knows!

Ta hand om er allihopa, jag kommer sakna er!

Mycket kärlek,


Autumn LaRose-Smith


I am so tired. I didn’t go in and read the previous years blogs before joining this campaign so I don’t know if the last days blog is supposed to be inspiring and tear provoking? I learned a lot this week. I made some really great friends and I already have separation anxiety from 1. My orange shirt and 2. My orange shirt fam. This week has given me a lot of time to reflect back on my life and I feel I’m leaving with a new perspective. I am so so proud of everyone on the campaign. The hard work, the late nights, and the early mornings that everyone has put in to ensure this week was successful in both raising donations and awareness for Egadz. I am very grateful for having an organization like Egadz in our community, knowing that there are dedicated and passionate workers who are out there right now helping our youth and families is amazing. Please continue to support Egadz after the campaign.

The support and love from students and faculty has been amazing to us orange shirts and we will always be grateful but there is a message in all of this. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a bright orange protective layer that says “5 Days for the Homeless” or if they are actually homeless, please treat everyone with the decency, respect, love, and support that was shown to us.  It is one thing to donate your change to a charity, but it is another to genuinely care for the homeless community anywhere you go. The least you can give is your time and least of your time you can give is talking. Talk about the stigma, talk about the dangers, talk about the lost, the forgotten and the left behind. You can create change with your voice, be it the mind of a family member at the dinner table or by publically fighting for it in your community. NOTHING is too small. Take nothing for granted, what could be “small and insignificant” to you could literally be a beacon of hope for someone else.

If you have the power and privilege to say something, say it.

If you have the power and privilege to do something, do it.

Don’t expect someone else to act. Don’t wait for change.

Act. Change. Create change and change lives.

Orange shirts, I can’t wait to see you again, y’all down for next Friday?? Sleepover soon? I’ll bring a sleeping bag and some cardboard, you bring the horrible jokes and stench.

p.s. I will miss the sweet lullaby that is Johns snoring.

Baxter Kawula

For as much as I complain about the ungodly specimens that share my bedside, I couldn’t have done it with anyone else. These soiled savages are the most caring, honest, empathetic people I have ever rubbed butts and crotches with. Sure, they might be disturbingly devoted to bathroom humour, but can you really blame them? When you smell like human excrement it’s only natural to want to make jokes about it. All jokes aside, I am really going to miss spending every waking, walking, spooning hours with these guys. I am a bit shocked at how much the five of us have grown over this week, especially them. They came in uncultured swines, and are leaving still uncultured but a little less swine like.

I cherish the connections I have made with the participants, committee members, students, faculty, reporters, government officials, and every other stakeholder of this campaign. This experience has shaped not only my perspective, but the strength and size of my community. I have never felt so loved, appreciated, and secure than during this campaign. What an honour and a privilege it has been to volunteer alongside such incredible, passionate, and welcoming individuals.


Signing out,

Man of Knowledge


……Also known as Knowledge Man

John Younger

Last night the other hp’s and I stayed up all night telling our life stories. I have gotten to know each of them so well and I could not have wished for anyone else to sleep with for 5 nights outside. The joking around we do keeps the days going and I appreciate them so much. We had taco in a bag and improv tonight. A HP from last year (Robby) came and bought me a taco in a bag and we talked about each other’s experiences as HP’s. The improv show was so good I am so happy to show off my passion to my new best friends. Tonight is the last night for 5D4H and time has gone by so fast. We are having guests over tonight and we still have to clean our home. Tomorrow we need to raise over 3000$ to wax shay, SO DONATE MONEY TOMORROW.​

2018 – Night #4

Kristen Volstad 

​​This morning started with the mostly frozen remnants of last night’s pizza (thanks, campus security!) and a CTV interview sitting six inches away from Autumn’s sleeping body. At least she got to sleep in. Eventfulness continued as Shay forgot the key to the office at home. After a few classes I went to Curing the Crisis, a symposium with healthcare experts speaking about the opioid epidemic, social media and reproductive health, and innovative change in the healthcare system. This is where I suffered my first real rejection of the campaign as I was turned down on my request to pass around a donation box or make a 5D4H announcement. 

This evening was spent scouting locations to sleep tonight, our last night with just the five of us. The campaign has been fun, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss sleeping indoors in my warm bed. One of our celebrity guests from last night was saying how brutal it was last night, and how they couldn’t believe we were doing this for five days in a row. On the one hand, I felt like I’d already toughened up since Sunday since I actually slept pretty well, but it was also a reminder that for some people, there is no “end date” to their homeless. They don’t push through the cold nights because they know they’re going home on Friday, they do it because that’s all they have. ​Once again it’s a great reminder that this campaign is for such a good cause if it helps at risk youth have a warm, safe place to sleep at night.

John Younger 

The celebrity sleep over was so much fun! We had Corey O’Soup who is the youth advocate for Saskatchewan and my new best friend, we have already planned our summer trips together. We also had Janella who is a CTV news journalist, sleep with us then do interview when we woke up. THE HUGE NEWS IS Kristen and I went to the same middle school in Ottawa and we were a year apart! (I know she left that out of her blog maybe she is ashamed of this FACT). I continue my onslaught assault of snores upon Baxter I feel he may break soon, only time and blogs will tell. On my other front I have affiliated with Anya in order to pull a practical joke upon “Fall” hopefully our trap springs upon her soon. WE HAVE SO MUCH FOOD. Thank you everyone who has given us food and DEODERANT. We feel the support! Going to the classrooms have started to feel normal and encouraging even. The campaign ends in 2 nights and we are so close to our goal. On top of that if we raise 3000$ in cash donations SHAY WILL WAX HIS BODY NECK DOWN and that man has hair everywhere! Tomorrow is the Improv show where I get to show the rest of my HP’s my craft. I hope everyone can make it to the show it should be a really great time.​

Anja Eliasson 

Yesterday night we had some very nice company in form of Corey o’ Soup, youth advocate for Saskatchewan and Janella Hamilton with CTV news. Thanks for keeping us company and for spreading awareness through all the channels you have available. This is something we have been discussing today and that we have been mentioning to the people we have talked to – use your platform! This campaign is all about spreading awareness of the problem of homelessness at the same time as raising money, so spread the word people! Tell your friends, your relatives, your classmates, your prof. Get people involved and this way we can reach all the more people and raise all the more money. Remember that if every single student on this school would give only 1$ we would have already reached our goal!

We also had other guests yesterday. Secret guests. I woke up to the smell of pizza!!!! Yep you heard me – freaking pizza! I thought for sure I had gone some kind of crazy but, turns out it was once again campus security who were just being awesome and giving us food. BIG shout out to you guys, we appreciate it so much!

Today we have been killing the classroom announcements if I may say so myself! Can’t wait to hear the new total!! Also I want to prepare you guys, if we raise 3000$ tomorrow or Friday (we are aiming for Friday) Shay will do a complete body wax – from the face down. So save the big bucks for Friday people!!! BILLS ONLY!

Also, apparently I was being way to nice to the others last night and in return some people have been making fun of my Swedish today (I will mention names) and teased me in all kinds of ways, so just wanted to say that Baxter is a frog, Autumn smells like a teen boy going through puberty and John is the worst out of all people in the world at Swedish, no talent what so ever.
I only like you guys a little bit now. Kirsten is still good though.

Anyways, we are moving into the final night alone!!! Tomorrow we are having a committee sleep-over and I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Night xxxxx

Autumn LaRose-Smith


I don’t actually know what day it is anymore. I didn’t sleep again because I was cold and dumb and took my jacket off in the night. TONIGHT I WILL KEEP IT ON. The campus security brought us pizza tonight which was a perfect way to treat our guests! We had two celebrity guests today, Corey O’soup, the Saskatchewan Youth Advocate (First Indigenous Youth Advocate in Saskatchewan, GO Corey!) AND Janella Hamilton, the “On the Go Reporter” from CTV!!!! We got up at 5am and did a Facebook live video on Janella’s phone and after I forced myself to sleep (with my jacket on). I ended up sleeping through an entire interview she did with John and Kristen while sitting right next to me. Hopefully you saw me sleeping on live TV. The seniors’ class and a Women and Gender Studies class gave us a round of applause today and though it is nice it doesn’t get any less weird. I also gave an Ed class a wrong Skip the Dishes code today so I am so sorry to anyone in that class if you are reading this. The REAL code, which gets you 10% off your food and also donates 3$ to EGADZ is UofS5days (shameless plug).

So the orange shirts played a pretty good prank on me. Baxter and John told me that Anja (who is from Sweden) taught them how to say hello in her mother tongue. All day they reminded me how to say “hello” in Swedish because Anja was feeling homesick, I thought they were being kind but in reality they were watering a seed that was planted early this morning. When we were all in the library just about to start our blogs one of Anjas’ friend came to talk to her and he just so happened to also be from Sweden. John rolls his chair over to me and whispers, “Say hello in Swedish, Autumn” and slowly rolls away. It was chilling. I said hello and the conversation went like this:

“FAN (pronounced fawn) ROLLING STONES SHIRT GUY!!”


“FAN” *As I smile and waive aggressively in an attempt to make things less awkward*

“Autumn that word is a swear similar to ‘F#@k’”

We laugh, my face is red and he walks away.

Never trust the ones you love.

Baxter Kawula

Last night I put some serious distance between myself and lieutenant lawnmower lungs, John. He wasn’t the only person I exiled to the edge of Carboard Island; Anja was coughing up nuclear waste so I banished her to quarantine corner (a bad place for bad people, mostly Swedes). Upon removing myself from Mrs. Mono and Mr. Chainsaw, I fell into a proverbial pit of sadness. These two people, despite their repulsive behaviours, were MY people. We had a connection. Even if that connection was only platonically cradling each other’s frail starving bodies for warmth, it was still a connection. It was MY connection.

To quell the separation anxiety, I tried cuddling up to Corey. Sure, he wasn’t my first choice to spoon with, but as one famous person once probably maybe said, “rebounders can’t be choosers”. So here I am, in my sleeping bag, worming my way over to cuddle his backside, when this beast of a man does a complete 180 WEARING A JET BLACK SKI MASK. Just to be clear, this wasn’t a “I am a youth advocate” ski mask, this was a “I’m here to skin you alive” ski mask. Had I not had the good mind to relieve my bowels before bed, I would have pooped right then and there. Never have I been so vulnerable one moment – opening myself up to genuine human connection (spooning a strange older man) – and so physically scared the next. Needless to say, I spent the whole night in the fetal position vowing never to trust again.

But yeah, cool guy Corey is.

2018 – Night #3

Anja Eliasson

Jackpot! Sleept really well yesterday (spelling mistake intended)! My biggest fear of having to wake up in the middle of the night to pee came true last night but it actually went quite well. I did however wake most of the others up so I’m really sorry about that my little orange family! Tonight there will be no fluids for me from this point on!

Yesterday was a heartwarming evening. First EGADZ came buy with sandwiches to us and straight after, Campus Security rocks up with donouts and hot chocolate. Luxurious to say the least! People are being so incredibly nice and the food donations for us has kept rolling in so today I haven’t been hungry at all. This experience will forever change the way I go about life. It has become even more clear to me how important it is that we see people. Even if we know that we can’t help everyone, we can and should do something. I will admit that many times earlier in life I have walked away from homeless people or people begging for money. I think the fear comes from being scared that I would have to get really involved in their lives and help make everything better. Very selfish and actually kind of horrible. Now as I’ve been having a lot of time to reflect on this I believe that the first step is actually just to acknowledge people. See them. Say hi, ask how their day was, ask if they are hungry or need something else. To act like they don’t exist is the worst thing possible. And even if you are not ready to do more than that, it could be a first step, maybe you find out there actually is something that you could help out with or that you could help them get in contact with organizations that can help them further on. This is something I will work on from now on, to stop looking away.

I think that will be it for confessions for tonight. John keeps asking personal questions every time we are about to go to bed, I can’t wait to hear what he has stored for tonight! In some weird way I’m looking forward to crawling down in my sleeping bag next to all of them. They are amazing people. I went into this campaign to raise awareness and money for EGADZ as well as for personal development. Little did I know that I would make such amazing friends!

Sleep well all you at home!!

Autumn LaRose-Smith

Baxter peed himself today. (Baxter it’s not funny when you add it in your blog too)

Last night was better than the first night even though I still didn’t sleep. I was used as a human shield to protect the “fam” from the wind. John slept half naked in his sleeping bag while I violently shivered and cuddled the 10-cup hot chocolate and 2 dozen donuts from Tim’s that campus security brought us. In the morning “Tip-Toe (Through the Tulips)” our morning wake up song picked by John blasted and the shrill voice of the singer gave me shivers on top of my shivers. Flash forward 4 ½ hours later and it was our Q&A and Soup event with the Horticulture Club. SHOUT OUT TO HORT CLUB FOR YOU’RE AMAZING DONATION. HELLA GREAT SOUP AND EVEN GREATER PEOPLE.

Today was draining and I almost fell asleep. Did anyone know there are seniors’ classes on campus and all the students are wonderful?!?!? I almost fell asleep on second floor arts when I sat down and a senior lady came and talked to me to tell me how amazing it is to feel included in the campus community. THAT WAS SWELL.

As I write this some of my closest comrades sit next to me to visit and I’m feeling the love.


Baxter Kawula

Last night’s sleep was muy bueno – that’s French for very bueno. Our tarp burrito was rolled much tighter and I was lucky enough to secure the little spoon position from both sides. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows though, as I did spend the entire night with Anja and John’s dirty donut breath in my face. Yes, I chose to sleep beside the human foghorn again. His snoring will no longer be a problem because I’ve found my secret weapon: the Sheaf. Indeed, nothing lulls a person to sleep quite like their sorry attempt at journalism. Jokes aside, I did shove 86 issues into my sleeping bag for insulation.


Speaking of issues, I am beginning to lose trust with the others. I overheard them say something about eating me, or that I peed myself, or that they wanted to eat my pee? I don’t know, I was listening with a cup to the wall so the sound was pretty muffled. Just know that everything they tell you about me is A LIE! Except all the good stuff, that’s all true.

Looking forward to sleeping with our two celebrities tonight!


Xoxo Gossip Girl

Kristen Volstad

​Access to fresh, healthy food is a privilege that a saddening number of people don’t have. The past couple days I’ve mostly been eating food that is cheap, portable, and processed, and I’ve felt like a zombie (other than the delicious squash soup from the Horticulture Club – shout out to them for being awesome!). I’m lucky to be able to afford fresh, unprocessed produce and meats, but this experience has offered me a taste of what it’s like to only be able to eat what you can find – and I haven’t really had to go hungry, so I’m STILL lucky. Feeling like my brain is in a fog all day though hasn’t been pleasant, and in the long term there are health risks associated with this kind of diet that would put even more unneeded strain on an underprivileged youth (or anyone). 

I’ll end this by saying that non-perishable goods are obviously an important staple for organizations like EGADZ, but they do still list fresh/frozen veggies and meats, so if you have some to spare, consider that you could help put a nutritious meal in someone’s belly tonight.

John Younger 

Baxter peed himself this evening.

Last night we had a very good sleep. After a day of being tired it was not that hard to just pass out. Before we fell asleep we were visited by EGADZ who gave us apples and sandwiches. Right after wards campus security came bringing donuts and hot chocolate. These back to back events were what I needed as a pick me up, so I had lots of energy to prepare for sleeping. We did so much more preparing for the sleep than the first night which we learn from our mistakes. After waking up we went to classrooms than had the press conference to answer some questions with the assistant director and director of EGADZ. Hearing them talk about how grateful they are for what we do was so energizing. Shoutout to the hort club for their amazing soup it was delicious. Went to classrooms. Then we got donated sandwiches with very encouraging notes so shoutout to the two people who gave us thatJ. Today has been a good day the joking between participants continues. I feel so encouraged to keep raising money for EGADZ and I am excited to hear the total amount soon.  ​

2018 – Night #2

Night 2! 

Autumn LaRose-Smith

March 12th, 2018

Update: Last night was on the worst end of bearable mostly because we were all incredibly naïve to what was about to unfold. In the beginning it felt like I was going to get more sleep than when I’m sleeping at home, who even goes to bed at 11pm normally???? We were all “too hot” in our sleeping bags so naturally our response was to remove our layers, that was dumb. Soon the cold set in and made every part of my body feel like it was burning. I had already let someone else borrow my sweater and I was using my jacket as a pillow because I forgot one. I spent my night laying awake, wondering if it was worth getting out of my sleeping bag and losing whatever small amount of heat I had to put on my jacket or just suffering until morning. Thankfully, in the pitch black I had Baxters’ aggressive snoring as a distraction from the possible loss of my toes. The wait for morning, for warmth and for light, felt like it somehow couldn’t have come any later than it did. I’m pretty sure I did an interview with Global Morning? I also swore I could “see cold” as an entity so who knows what happened. If tonight doesn’t go better now that we kind of have an Idea of what we’re in for then we are sacrificing Baxter for warmth because his recent knee surgery makes him the weakest link.

    As the day went on I began to notice all the little things I take for granted. Going in to this I assumed I would talk about the obvious “big” things such as my bed, shelter food etc. however it’s the little things that are wearing me down. I took lip-chap for granted. It seems small but when your lips are so dry they’re burning and you have to decide between food or lip chap that “small” thing turns into something a lot bigger. It’s good to focus on the big things, that’s survival, but now I am missing things I never thought I’d miss. Please if you can, take a couple pairs of your socks and donate them in our bins, if you’re wondering why then go 5 days wearing the same socks all day every day. You’ll soon understand. These “little” things can have a HUGE effect on someone’s everyday life. Anyways. Hi mom, I love you and don’t worry. I can say this is all over in 4 more nights and even that is more than what others might have.

Baxter Kawula

Last night I chose to sleep far away from the burger baroness, Autumn, using Anja as a human shield to protect myself from her noxious fumes. As the night progressed, so did the harsh cold and I quickly regretted putting myself so far away from our only source of warmth. My profound jealousy of Autumn’s methane-heated sleeping bag was rivalled only by my passionate hatred for John. Had I known of his uncanny ability to transform his airways into a Boeing 747, I might have chosen to sleep beside someone else.

In all seriousness, today was a good day. Yes I am exhausted, and yes I ate 13 handfuls of shreddies for supper, but I also got a ton of donations and had some pretty meaningful conversations. It never seems to amaze me how kind and generous people can be when you put them in situations to do so. It’s inspiring to see our community rally behind this issue and support the city’s more prominent organizations that combats it: EGADZ.

Anja Eliasson

Strategy from last night did not really work. I think. I am not sure though. Getting woken up this morning to Sia’s “Survivor” I felt like I did not sleep at all but Baxter keeps insisting that I was snoring which indicates I was in fact sleeping a bit. I am positive it is not true because he is the one who kept me up with his snoring. That and cold feet. Tonight we are trying some new strategies, I’m excited! So in other words I am keeping up the strategy from last night, little to no sleep with big hopes of sleeping like a baby tonight!

The day has been rewarding in many ways. It started with interviews for Global Morning and went on to doing various classroom announcements with some of the other participants. The best part was being introduced by a professor saluting us with a trumpet, he set us up real good for donations, kind of felt like a superstar! Anyway, we have gotten donations in forms of money, food, toothbrushes, socks and – the best hug ever from a very happy professor. Thanks to all of you that has donated today, every single cent matters and we appreciated it so much! The money will allow EGADZ to continue on with their amazing work! As participants we got to experience one of their services yesterday when they came out to find us to give us a sandwich and hot chocolate. Highly appreciated! And I can’t even comprehend how much the snacks and their friendly faces would mean if I actually was homeless.

It has also been an intense day, not going to lie. But I’m hoping we have managed to raise a lot of money. We will get to know very soon as we are about to go do our vlog! So check that out if you want to know more what we have been doing today. Also tomorrow their will be Q&A in the Agriculture building at 11.30 and the Horticulture club has been kind enough to make soup that they will sell by donation, money all goes to EGADZ. So come ask questions or chat with us tomorrow!


John Younger 

After the first night, it’s safe to say I am exhausted. We did not do as much preparing for sleeping outside as we should have. A few hours in we all felt very cold but didn’t want to leave our sleeping bag to fix anything on top of that Baxter was snoring all night. When we woke up we did an interview with global news then we walked around campus and spoke to classrooms to get donations. Speaking one on one with strangers was difficult. The thought of having to live a life where every sleep is uncomfortable/cold and in order to get every meal you have to ask strangers is unthinkable for me. Come Friday I am done. I can go home and sleep in my bed. The youth that we are doing this for do not have that hope. We did get some food today which we treasured and split amongst the other Sleepers. The other sleepers are great to be around, we keep each other laughing which is super helpful to get me to the end of the day. Tomorrow we have a Q&A which will be a great way to spread awareness for homeless youth.​

Kristen Volstad 

Last night, I was the only one who was cold when we set up for bed, but I think I ended up having the best sleep, which isn’t saying much. I’m using two sleeping bags stacked inside each other and the outside one fell off at some point in the night so I woke up FREEZING. I’m definitely glad the cold night is behind us. Besides the cold, it could have been a lot worse.

I had classes all day, so other than eventually getting hungry it didn’t feel much different than any other day. Even though it’s only been one day, there have been several moments where I became quite conscious of how different it is to not be able to pull out my debit card and buys the thing I want, when I want them. I forgot my lab manual at home (along with about 50 other important items, oops) and normally I literally would have just bought a new one. Usually if I got hungry at school I would just go buy a snack. If I was tired, I would just get a coffee. There are all of these little incidents happening every day that I never thought twice about until the opportunity was taken away.

The orange shirts attract a lot of attention, and have turned out to be an easy conversation starter. People have been showing a lot of interest in learning about the campaign which has been really exciting to see.

That’s all I got for today, thanks everyone for your continuing support!

2018 – Night #1

Kristen Volstad: 

Last night I got the privilege to sleep inside a house, in a warm bed. Tonight, I’ll be sleeping outside in an attempt to empathize with homeless youth who face this challenge every day. While I will never fully be able to relate, I am excited to raise funds and awareness to aid these people.

SO, in a more short term, physical sense, I’m kind of freaking out. It’s like, what did I get myself into? But what keeps me smiling is that I’m so proud of EGADZ and the work that this organization does. It’s so valuable and important and I really wish that this campaign is a success in all of its goals. Today, in the library, a woman came up to me and Anja and asked about the campaign, which was super exciting. I love that our ~neon~ orange t-shirts attracts this attention. So, we talked about EGADZ as well as the nitty gritty of the campaign. I really appreciated the opportunity to be an advocate for a cause that I care about.

Alrighty roo, I think I’ve gabbed enough. Have a good night guys (and appreciate your warm bed!!!)

Baxter Kawula: 

After suffering 24 consecutive turkey burps, I am beginning to wonder whether my offensive inhalation of the Yard and Flagon’s pot pie and nachos was a good idea. Autumn nearly defeated her own protein trophy by tackling the infamous MONSTER burger – it was both impressive and disgusting. She was quoted saying “I had no idea there would be two patties on there. I just thought MONSTER was a cute name”. Her meat fever was so intense that the whole group had second-hand beef sweats. She is now completely conscious and we are expecting a full recovery. ​

John Younger: 

Today has been good so far. We did interviews with the news then went out for our last real meal for the next 5 days. Afterwards we started at 5 PM by handing over our wallets and phones. Prior to the campaign I attempted to mentally prepare myself for the days to come but I’m unsure if I am ready. I have not had to sleep outside yet so I still don’t fully know what to expect other than the warnings I got from past participants. Still echoing in my mind is the visit we did to EGADZ and how thankful they were. We walked around and found some good spots for places on campus where we could possibly sleep. Afterwards a person came up to our group asking about the campaign. They seemed to be very on board for 5 Days for the Homeless. My biggest worry so far is talking to someone and they don’t understand how much 5 Days helps. I am very passionate about at risk youth and having to help someone understand how serious of a problem homelessness is while they refuse to see it, will be stressful for me. However I have a lot to look forward to, we have some great events that I can do like the Participant Q&A on Tuesday where I can talk about the impact EGADZ  makes on the city of Saskatoon or the Improv show on Thursday which should be a lot of fun. In whatever shape or form I am expecting to have an eventful time.​

Autumn LaRose-Smith 

Today marks the first day of the campaign. I prepared myself for my week as a “Sleeper” by having an extra long shower (sorry roomie for that water bill), brushing my teeth (3 times…), and dressing in my warmest layers of clothing. First, I want to thank everyone who helped me prepare for the week ahead, I am truly grateful for the support in my life. This campaign puts things in to perspective fairly quickly. If I was actually facing homelessness I probably wouldn’t have access to all of these things we take for granted every single day. We went for a “last supper” together before having to give up our phones and wallets and me being me decided to jump in on the ritual pub-sharing of nachos and get the “Monster burger” meal. The description of the meal said it was for “determined appetites” which sounds fitting right? Well during supper I can say that we all had a sudden realization that the food we ordered was our last guaranteed meal for a week.  I ended up getting an upset stomach and meat sweats which I am sure will translate well on camera in the many photos taken of me after. Though this is a fundraiser for EGADZ and none of wish to trivialize the very real struggles the homeless population in our community face, the sudden fear of not knowing when you will eat next was eye opening, to say the least. I’m tired today and I am excited to sleep, I just hope that the first night outside will be bearable. 

Anja Eliasson

And it has begun! The first day of the campaign is finally here, even though technically preparations has been going on for more then a month – thanks to each and everyone on the team for doing such a great job of organising and arranging everything! Now it’s time for us to do our part in this and I’m both excited and nervous. Excited to raise awareness for the issues of homelessness and for the wonderful work that EGADZ does. Excited to raise loads of money!!

In preparations for today I decided to sleep very little last night so that my chances of falling asleep tonight would increase. Right now its 9 pm and I can’t wait to go to bed so my strategy is working so far – updates will come tomorrow on whether or not it did. We have been out scouting some good places to sleep and I’m having a good feeling about the first location.

Today we have been doing interviews for the Global and then we went on to have our “last supper” (nachos and veggie burger, very good) I ate as if it would be the only thing I will get to eat this week. This campaign puts things in perspective really quick and even just the thought of not knowing when my next meal will be is scary. Just one out of many things that I have realised I take for granted with ease. This week will forever change my perspective on all of the privileges in life. The support that I’ve gotten from friends and family is wonderful, I’m so thankful for all of you.

Keep your fingers crossed for a warm night for all of the people out there that do not have a place to stay tonight and remember, we are not homeless – but we are raising money for someone who is!

The Final Moments of 5 Days

We did it! We hit $10,000 and exceeded it. I personally cannot thank everyone enough. The support has been overwhelming and I cannot wait to plan this event again next year! – Sarah von Gradulewski Co-Cordinator of 5 days Lethbridge 2017. 

Our Sleepers Final Messages:

Ashley Prefontaine: 

Finished! The end has come with tears of happiness and joy. I am so proud of reaching our goal. This week has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I have now taken the time to reflect and be so grateful for every little wonderful aspect of my own life, everything that I have always taken for granted. I am so thankful for my absolutely, completely, words-cannot-describe, wonderful friends and family, never have I ever been so aware of the incredible personal support I receive on a daily basis from the ones I love. I think the stories that I have heard over the week of personal experiences with homelessness, poverty, and lack of love is what I will take with me the most. This has truly challenged me to consider what so many people go through every day, and really think about what I can do to help. On a lighter note, my personal goal was to not get pneumonia, which I also achieved! So really, just a very successful five days all around.


Beth Hilker:

I’m so happy. I can’t stop crying. We. Exceeded. Our. Goal. I am so #blessed that I practically have no words. I want to thank so many people. First I would like to thank all the people who brought their dogs and let me love them! John and Archie, Alex and Buddy, The Donnelly’s and Andy, and Sydney and Dre and their moms (who’s names I didn’t get). I want to thank the individuals who told us their story of being homeless and using Woods homes, your stories kept me going. I want to thank the Security team here at Uleth that kept us safe. Chris, Jordan, Steph, and Ethan for stopping by and making sure we had enough food and drinks after their shifts. Courtney and friends for all 18 cups of coffee. Clay for making sure I was okay and always expressing concern. The Zoo (Shawn, John, and Connor) for having us sing, providing food and letting us canvas. Thanks Roy and Ken for telling us their stories and letting us sit at their table at Karaoke night. Eliza’s friend Amanda for the Jammers. All of our amazing guest sleepers for helping keep us safe. The unnamed Bus Driver that always checks up on us. To the brothers and sisters in Greek Life here on campus, you all helped keep us going and provided so much for us. All the amazing staff at Woods home for the amazing work they do! So much love right now <3 xoxoxoxo 

Eliza Donnelly:

WE EXCEEDED OUR GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I have never been so thankful in my life. There are so many people I would love to thank, however Beth touched on most of them, So i will just send out a huge thank you to all of you. This has been a great experience and very eye opening. I will definitely miss everyone stopping by. A huge thank you goes out to Sarah and Janelle for organizing this event and the countless hours they put into everything. I also will miss Ashley, Jaren, and Beth; we have become quite the family and hope to stay in touch. I can’t wait to go home and shower, Lots of Love to you all.<3

Night #5 Blog

Max Mykytyzyn: 

This week there were a lot of moments when I thought to myself, “Why am I doing this?” And I always thought of this story:
Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.
Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching. As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea. The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”
The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”
The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”
The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!” -adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley
If this campaign makes a difference in just one person’s life, everything will have been worth it. Yes, I haven’t showered in 4 days and probably have enough lint in my belly button to fix the hole in my pants.
But everything I experienced pales in comparison to what some children, real children, have to go through every day, every week, every month right here in Saskatoon. Because I spent this week making a difference in the community, it will be one of my favourite weeks of my undergrad. Being a homeless participant this week taught me to not take the little things for granted and appreciate everything you have.
I’d like to thank Kim and all of the OC for everything they did this week for us, and to my fellow HP’s, you all rock and I couldn’t have asked for a better team!
One last thought. This campaign only lasts one week, but EGADZ operates all year. If you are ever in the position to donate, they have a wish-list on their website for supplies they need. Many people said we were brave this week, but this only took 5 days of our time. For EGADZ, they have committed themselves week after week to helping Saskatoon’s youth, and they deserve all of the respect in the world!
The first thing I’m going to do when I become not homeless? Pet my dog and eat a cheeseburger!

Nickol Saenz:

Dear community,
This is my last night sleeping outside and my last post 🙁 … I feel so excited to take a shower and see the results of our campaign. We have been working so hard for all of you. I feel so proud and thankful for my team and everyone who have donated.
Today, I were in the middle of a hall smiling and shaking my box for some change. I realized the different reactions and faces of people. We have the ones that feel sorry for you but do not donate!, or the open hearth ones that want a different world [thank you for your existence] But, the ones that really impacted me were the ones that turn their faces and preferred to ignored me and with that preferred to ignore all the issues in this society. For those who preferred to live ignoring and oppressing minorities, let me tell you we still here and we do not gonna give up. We are part of this society!!! 👊 so you might want to look outside of your bubble and wake up, we need to unify!!…
Tonight, we are going to have more members of the campaign sleeping outside with us. I am excited! Hopefully I will no get again a windy corner. 🖖 ‘I apologize in advance’ with the OC and HP’s that are sleeping tonight with us: if you hear me scratching my hair or body, I am sorry is because I feel really itchy of not taking a shower this week. oops. By the way, we had a good sleep last night I heard our guest and some HP’s snoring deeply through the night. Probably, I were too. Really good spot to sleep. Let’s see how it goes tonight.
Ps: Please everyone help us tomorrow to meet our goal of 20,000, it is really a good cause! we want children contributing to the society!! 🙂
Peace and love !! 🌎💟 
[sorry for too many emojis. I like them!]

Robert Mohrbutter: 
I like to think that nobody reads these blogs because it makes it easier to write what is really on my mind. With the end of the campaign in sight I can’t help but think about how I got involved to begin with. When Kim, the project manager of the campaign this year, asked me to participate I kind of agreed without contemplating it too much. I figured it would be an interesting experience and maybe look good on my resume. In the weeks leading up to the campaign I couldn’t help but think, “I don’t know if I care enough about homelessness to be doing this”. Now on the last night of the campaign that could not be further from the truth. The first thing that begin to make me care about the cause was our visit to EGADZ. Hearing first-hand the horror stories and success stories of homeless and at-risk youth here in Saskatoon swayed me a bit. The EGADZ staff were so obviously passionate about their work and while it was inspiring I was still lacking that passion. Then the campaign started and I slept outside in the Saskatchewan cold for the first time. It was one of the worst nights of my life. After that “holy f*** how can anyone sleep like that” moment I began to understand and care even more. Throughout the week there has been no shortage of unpleasant moments and feelings building up the capacity for me to begin to empathize with the homeless. Visits from Kroeker and Ryan (a former homeless participant) continued to drill in the fact that the campaign isn’t about me at all. It’s about the kids, teenagers and young adults who need the support of organizations like EGADZ. So many of them were born into bad situations or have mental illnesses and they need help. Without support they don’t stand a chance. Today thinking about why I’m participating I don’t mind being sleep deprived, sore and stanky. I’m proud to have participated this year because in my heart I know that this a great cause. With that I would like to thank everybody who worked so very hard for the campaign, everybody who donated and of course the people who work day in and day out at EGADZ. With a very special thanks to Kimberley, Shaylin and Sean!
Sincerely (seriously sincerely),
Robert Mohrbutter

Jazmin Evers:
Our last night! I can’t even begin to know what to say. In some ways this week has flown by so fast, yet in other ways it has lasted forever (looking at you, Sunday night that just wouldn’t end). There are so many things I want to say about this campaign and the amazing experience that it has been. There are so many little things I could mention that have made this past week as stellar as it’s been (for instance, giving up personal electronics means I haven’t heard about a certain American who has a toupee and skin as orange as our shirts in five entire days), but I’m trying to write a blog post here, not a novel to rival War and Peace.
Let’s kick things off with some thank yous. Thank you to Mama Kim for literally everything you do for us, and the campaign as a whole. You are so dedicated to this cause and your passion and commitment shine through in all that you take on. The campaign is going to miss you next year. Keep on keepin’ on!
Thank you to Papa Shay and Papa Sean. You guys rock – you keep us on track and keep us motivated. Thanks for tucking us in at night and waking us up in the morning. Even on the most uncomfortable of nights (looking at you again Sunday night), it’s reassuring to have you guys around and know that not only did you make it through nights like these but you came back to the campaign again.
If we’re going with the family theme, shout-out to Grandpa Ryan. Thanks for your evening visits– you motivate us to make 5 Days bigger and better than ever and remind us how incredible EGADZ is for Saskatoon.
Speaking of EGADZ, huge thank you to you as well! You do so much good in this world and make a difference in the lives of so many individuals and still somehow have time to bring us hot chocolate and sandwiches. Your enthusiasm is contagious – never stop doing what you do.
Thank you to the rest of our 5 Days OC family: all of our finance, community, donations, social media, and public relations aunts, uncles, and cousins. You do so much behind-the- scenes work that people may not realize and you’re our favourite support network for the campaign.
Thank you to Dale, Kroeker, campus security, my profs, my friends and family (the blood kind this time), the USask student body, our sponsors, and the 5 Days for the Homeless national campaign. I know I’m forgetting at least 648, 937 people who have made this campaign into the week that it was, but whoever you are, know that you made a difference to everyone involved.
Tomorrow is our last day, so dig deep into the sides of your couch, skip your morning coffee, whatever you need to do – donate and help us meet our goal. It’s for the kidz.

Crystal Lau: 

Today was such a good day!!
Let’s start with last night! We had a roof over our heads, we shared secrets and told gross stories as bedtime stories, and one of the campus safety guy, Seth, came and told us poop stories as bed time stories!! HAHA! We had our celebrity sleepover, with his amazing voice he told us about college football poop stories as bed time stories as well! LOL!
Even though I woke up a few times in the night because of the cold, I still think that it was a decent sleep – as good as it can be in the cold dark nights..
My day has just went smoothly ever since! I went to do classroom presentations in the morning, then to my class. I brought my little donation house to the forum for my election (the other campaign thing I am doing), then at the bus stops during “rush (to go home and nap) hours, and then to a council meeting! Lots of people outside of ESB learned about 5 days for the homeless!
I had a performance tonight at a bar, so papa Shad went with me for “supervision”, I invited him on stage as my “live prop”, and we promoted 5D4H AGAIN! Passed the house around and lots of people donated! I didn’t realize it was a competition, but if I do win anything, I will donate it to E-Gadz!
I am excited for our last night, as it’s our OC sleepovers! I CANNOT wait to go home and shower tomorrow, then to sleep with my 3 lovely kitties tomorrow night! I miss them so so much!! <3
When I get my phone back tomorrow, I will challenge all of the candidates that are running in the USSU election (my other campaign stuff), to top a donation from my campaign team, and hopefully do a last PUSH to the campaign!!!
I am excited to expand 5D4H to not just mainly ESB, but to the whole University next year!! I will hope to challenge our next 5D4H to have an HP from different colleges! Not only will that increase the awareness, between different colleges they will be competing between each other!! I have lots of great ideas and I cannot wait for 5D4H 2018!!!
Let’s hope for the best for our last night! AND, I am thankful that I can say “This will be the last night I have to sleep outside in the cold”. Not everyone has the privilege to say that.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing isn’t enough, we must DO!”
Night <3
P.S. I made sure I tapped my pants again before I go on stage, because I have two holes since the second day…. and they just kept growing, they are massive now. 🙁
Thank you!

Days 3 + 4 – U of A


Thanks to Michelle from the U of A for sleeping out with us! Her wisdom and stories from past campaigns really raised our spirits through the night.  

Today was our barbecue event, which was a huge success! Special thanks to Dewey’s for providing the burgers on such short notice. As usual, we ran our classroom runs, and really emphasized reaching a diverse range of students from all faculties. 

As it is technically the halfway point of the campaign, I think this day was difficult for many of us. While we have adjusted to the “5 Days Life”, it has been challenging to balance all of our responsibilities to the campaign as well as to our academic commitments. It really puts into perspective the mental and physical toll that an unstable living situation can create. I’m sure we all appreciate our support structures even more, and are empathetic to the struggles of youth at risk knowing that we can never truly simulate homelessness.


Tonight is our sleep-a-thon! We’re really looking forward to having our friends join us for a night.

As the campaign comes to a close, we’d like to give thanks to all the people that have supported the campaign through their donations, their time, and their willingness to be more aware of youth homelessness. We appreciate the opportunity to facilitate rich conversations about YESS, and the issue of youth homelessness in Edmonton. One thing that people are surprised to hear is the gap in services for youth that YESS fills. Between the ages of 16-24, YESS is one of the main supports for youth at risk!

Goodnight everyone! 



Thursday March 16 2017!!!

Today slowed down a little for everyone, but State & Main brought food to the sleepers, and Wood’s Homes brought breakfast and then stopped by to visit the sleepers and say thanks for everything. They packed along games and coffee for the sleepers. Last night after they wrote the blog posts, Janelle gave the sleepers some letters from the volunteers who are sleeping from the University of Manitoba. I had the unique opportunity of seeing some of them in Winnipeg before I came home to run the event. They loved it. Finally, between Jonathon and Everrett, the winner was……..

JONATHON DIAZ with over $500. That being said, between the two of them they started a new wager. If between the two they received over $750, they would BOTH wear a dress, and sorry guys, but you had better get to the store because not only did they reach $750, they raised together just over $800. Thank you so much for the support!!!


The Sleepers would like to say:

Beth Hilker: 

I love the U of M letters! I’m so glad we did it. I hope they like ours too! The weather’s been so nice and we got a good sleep finally, but the wind picked up today giving me a bit of a headache. Only one more sleep though! By this time (6:25pm) I will be clean and in a shower… Well hopefully. The David’s tea has been a god sent and I’m so grateful for my friends and their donations and support! Thanks guys! 
Woods homes came by today (which I almost napped right through) and we got to talk to the staff there and those people are some of the kindest people and I’m happy that we are supporting them! 
No dogs today sadly 🙁

Ashley Prefontaine:

Getting to be just way too tired all day every day. My brain is turning out some pretty interesting thoughts and behaviours. Wood’s Homes came by and talking to them was incredible! Hearing about all of the work they do has really completely upped my spirits. They dropped off games for us! Which is something that was unexpected and entirely perfect. We have been playing a movie trivia game, and I thought I was pretty up on my film knowledge, but Beth and Jaren have been absolutely embarrassing me! Hanging out with the guest sleepers every night has been one of the most fun parts of this whole thing. Seeing two new people come in fresh faced and enthusiastic really helps keep you going. Everrett and Jonathon were so much fun last night, I heard some hilarious stories and watching them compete to raise donations was fantastic. One more night. Already dreaming of a hot shower and my bed. The end of the five days is actually pretty bittersweet, I’m really going to miss hanging out with these guys every day, this is definitely an experience that I am going to recommend to everyone.

Jaren Robinson:

Today was good, but I’m finally starting to feel a little tired like I’ve been told I would. Normally I would attribute this to things like staying up too late, or would probably be able to find something I’ve been doing that I could have avoided, but I really think that all of the walking around, braving the cold at night, sleeping on the hard ground, etc. is just starting to get to me.

I would hardly call what we’re doing anything close to what experiencing homelessness is really like, but even still the lifestyle is starting to seriously affect me after just 4 nights. Most people who are actually in this position have to brave this for far longer, and they don’t have the security that we do. We know that we’ll have some sort of donations every day, food, money, etc. We know that there are people watching over us, trying to protect us, trying to make sure we eat and stay healthy. We know that tomorrow, we get to go home. That security is not common at all within the homeless population. It’s a struggle after 4 days with all of those assurances, and I’m glad that I’m able to do something, however little it may be, to make sure that less people, especially youth, have to deal with this. 

Despite the week starting to drag on me a bit, I feel as if I’m still in relatively high spirits. Our guest sleepers last night were amazing at helping with that. We were telling each other stories, laughing, playing music, and having all sorts of fun. They had their fun little bet and, along with their natural likeable and outgoing personalities, they were able to help us raise an amazing amount of money yesterday and today. Considering it’s one of the last days of the week. what they were able to contribute was monumental. The new sleepers just showed up and are ready for what the rest of the week has to offer.

It’s a little bit bittersweet that the week will be coming to an end tomorrow. It’s our last night together at our little box. I’m definitely excited for a hot shower, a real bed, and a return to technology/social media. For some reason I can’t help but feel like I’m going to miss this a bit though. Over the past 4 nights and days, I’ve become very close with the other sleepers. Not to mention our coordinators as well, the support and encouragement that Janelle and Sarah have shown us has been overwhelming. That tight-knit support system we’ve had for each other is about to go away, and I only hope I can keep in contact with them after this. Every one of them is an amazing person, and I’m sure they’ll all go on to do even more amazing things with the rest of their lives. 

Eliza Donnelly:

Last night was so much fun my parents came to see me and brought me bath bombs for when I get to go home. They also brought my dog to come give me cuddles, it was sad to see them go.  I also had my friend from Calgary  come and visit which was a great surprise.  Paradise Canyon donated us pops which was awesome, and lots of people dropped us off hot chocolate and coffee. 

This morning was beautiful until the wind picked up, but we got an incredible amount of donations today. Woods Homes staff swung by to thank us for coming which was awesome, especially since so many of them came. Leading into tonight it is very bittersweet, as much as I would love to go home and shower I will truly miss the other sleepers and everyone that came to visit. Thank you all for your care and support.

Guest Sleepers:

Alex Glydon: MSS – VP Finance, and President of the Accounting Club

Sandeep Parmar: Incoming ULSU VP Academic:

Alex Glydon:

I am extremly excited to be a part of the 5 days for the Homeless campaign at the U of L. My brother was a sleeper in 5 days in 2014 and has spoken to me many times about the wonderful experience. I cannot wait to experience it myself. 

Sandeep Parmar: 

I am immensely excited to be part of the 5 Days for the Homeless campaign because I think it is incredibly important to help those on the streets. I know my contribution might be small, but every penny counts. I look forward to getting to know the people that I will be raising money with. I think I’ll also get more insight on what it really means to be homeless. What I least look forward to though is the cold. 


Night #4 Blog

Crystal Lau: 

This was such an amazing way to spend my birthday! I woke up to my theme song “Don’t rain on my parade” between my 5D4H fam, I received a bday song by a class for 200+ people after a classroom announcement, and I received a lot of personal, face-to-face birthday messages rather than liking the posts on Facebook!
Although I didn’t get to go out, or put on a dress (because I love dresses so much), or see my cats on my birthday, I am happy to see how much people have donated through my birthday! I talked about different kinds of homelessness at a Press Conference for Usask Matters this morning, and promoted 5D4H!
With all the stressful things going on, the two campaigns that I am doing, I forgot to eat, and didn’t know how hungry I was until after a stressful forum!
Last night, we slept in front of Education – it was windy 🙁 I woke up and was trying to find out what time it was, but I guess my watch froze, it just stopped working.. So now I am without time. What is time, anyway.
P.S. I received a birthday card, it was on a loose-leaf and it wrote “This is the type of birthday card a homeless person would get”. It was from my cats Loaf, Gus & Renesmee! <3
And I guess, I received a birthday e-card, from my dentist………..   
P.P.S I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22 ~

Robert Mohrbutter:

Today was yet another eye-opening day. I had some further glimpses into what it must be like to be homeless and as you can imagine it did not feel good. Wearing shoes almost all day long and the same pair of socks for three days straight meant that two things were happening to my feet. First they were emitting noxious gas and secondly they were swampier than the Everglades. I couldn’t handle it anymore so I decided I had to wash my feet. This proved to be difficult. I found a nice private wheelchair accessible bathroom where I could try to attempt to bathe. First I took my shirt off and splashed some water at my pits which really didn’t do much. Then I moved on to my stinky feet. So there I was shirtless, one foot in the sink, washing it with hand soap and then somebody tried the door… I muttered a sheepish, “occupied” and thought to myself “how in the world did I end up like this?” I found it upsetting knowing that anyone without a shower would be using public bathrooms like this on a regular basis. It was not a proper substitute for a shower by any means. A shower is yet another thing most people take for granted but being without one is heartbreakingly horrible. With my clean-ish feet I headed over to the Taco in a Bag sale that 5 days was putting on today. I figured some nice person would surely buy me some lunch if I smiled and asked nicely. Nobody did. I didn’t give up though. I made a cardboard sign explaining my situation and headed back to the sale. People looked at it and smiled and went on with their day. Nobody ended up donating me anything. I felt sad, neglected, dejected, rejected and most of all unloved. At that moment it felt like I was alone in the world and not a soul cared about me (even though I know I have lots of friends and family who love and care about me). Reflecting on it just makes me even more upset because the homeless must feel similar to that all too often. It breaks my heart in half knowing that disadvantaged, at-risk and homeless youth are suffering and feeling like I was today. I get to go home on Friday but for them it is a reality. Think about that for a moment. Luckily Nickol and I found some free sandwiches shortly after. I don’t think a ham and cheese has ever made me feel better than the one I had today did. With my spirits lifted and food in my belly the rest of the day was not so bad. But those two tiny peeks into the life of homelessness strongly affected me today. It seems with each passing day I begin to understand the struggles and care more and more for the homeless. It makes me very proud to be a part of the campaign. On that note, don’t forget to donate and I’ll be back tomorrow for day four.

Nickol Saenz:

How to shower with a bottle and the hand-wash at university?
Well, pretty simple, but you might not be successful at all. This was my 3th day without a shower hence a decided to get into a washroom a try to clean myself a bit. I filled my bottle water, took some hand soap, put my head inside the small sink and start to wash my hair; however,I could not get all my hair in there and also the hand soap was not a really a good idea. My hair is worst now, I think I left some hand soap. Oh! plus I could start doing some dreadlocks!!
 Also, I do not recommend to wash your feet and arms when people is around. They will stare at you saying in their head you are kooky!! Anyways, I felt a little bit more clean afterwards. But, at this point I am dying to take a shower, which make me think about the absolute homeless. I am so glad Egadz is out reaching for them.
Today, it was a good day full of donations. Taco in a bag was a hit! [ I felt so bad in the evening when Robbie made a big sign to get a taco by donation and he did not get any. hahaha luckily, we found some sandwiches later on 😄 🙂 ]
Hp’s are looking forward to get some company from the OC tomorrow night!

Max Mykytyzyn: 

We are now past the half way point of the campaign and I can’t believe it! Things are chugging along just fine. I was feeling pretty down in the dumps first thing in the morning because I woke up and realized my sleeping bag zipper is broken, and that’s why I was so cold last night. Apparently I have this thing where I break every single zipper on everything I own. Doesn’t matter if it’s a jacket, a backpack or apparently now a sleeping bag. I spent most of the day with other members of the OC in the tunnel shaking our boxes asking for change. They all made it really fun and they were full of positive energy. Tomorrow night is their chance to sleep with us outside and I’m looking forward to seeing them all there!!! We also had a taco in a bag sale today but I don’t really wanna taco ‘bout it. I didn’t have any money to buy a taco, and nobody bought me one. All I got to do was hold a sign with an arrow to direct people there! One of the things about being homeless I’m starting to struggle with is the lack of privacy. Not having a quiet place to relax and unwind can really grind a person down. After three days I’m starting to feel that way, so I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who truly doesn’t have a place to go. For those wondering about the hole in my pants, the duct tape is still holding, but it looks like the other side is about to rip now too. Another developing story is how bad my shoes and toque smell. The shoes were expected but the toque? Never in a million years did I expect to be like a Green Bay Packers fan, but I think people are gonna think I’m a cheesehead if they get too close.

Jazmin Evers: 

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about the effects of settler colonialism and how Canada’s history contributes to current problems of homelessness. This is in part because settler colonialism is a frequent topic in many of my courses. However, it is something that more of Saskatoon’s population needs to consider on a regular basis. I acknowledged on our first night that we’ve been sleeping on Treaty 6 land, both here in my blog and in our group vlog. This is important because failure to recognize where we are located, in a historical perspective, only perpetuates the stigma against homelessness that is so prevalent in contemporary culture.
We must accept that homelessness is not an individual’s fault. Homelessness is the result of failures at a systemic level – settler colonialism, racism, sexism, ableism, capitalism, the list goes on…
Erasing the stigma starts with you. Think about your actions, your words, your inner beliefs; are they informed by prejudice or ignorance?