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 ~
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.
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!
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.
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?