By Guest Blogger, Karen Lee
James, a regular in Bissell Centre’s Drop-In, tells me that he is grateful for places like Bissell. For the past three months, he has been homeless. At night he sleeps in shelters, but he doesn’t like it. He has multiple health problems, including epilepsy and is prone to seizures, for which he needs to take medication, but he isn’t allowed to take them in the shelters. In addition to having three major seizures in the last year, James is also diabetic and has high blood pressure. And if you can believe it, he has problems with his eyesight also… he has double vision.
James is scared and emotionally distraught. He doesn’t feel safe in the inner city. He has seen numerous acts of violence and an act of suicide on the streets. He feels he has no support outside of Bissell. He lost contact with his friends and family and feels alone and hopeless.
James, like many homeless people, has been coming to Bissell daily for meals and a warm safe place to stay during the day. Today he feels especially thankful – he is able to get his laundry done and was given a change of clothes and can finally get out of the ones he’s been walking around in for the last few weeks.
As my conversation with him comes to an end, he has tears in his eyes and starts weeping. I tell him that his days ahead will get better. And I really do hope that’s the case.