Good reminder for this time of year, Solstice…
Good reminder for this time of year, Solstice…
Tomorrow is the darkest time of the year, Winter Solstice is a time when folks for thousands of years have gathered and brought light thru fire, it was a time of rebirth. Communities brought shared burdens and together healed.
This time was meant to help uplift & heal us; to get through all that seems overwhelming.
Join the Committee to the End Homelessness to remember those that have died on Victoria’s streets this year and to draw attention to concerns about recent deaths, the need for adequate food, shelter, health care, and support services for all residents of Greater Victoria.
December 21, the first day of winter, the longest night of the year. Please bring flashlights
Dignity, respect, remembrance.
kym a hines
In 1961 I was born into a generation of doctors who were told to prescribe antibiotics for everything. Why? To get folks back to work basically.
Thru the years, as a survivor of poverty and child sexual abuse, living downstream from a nuclear power plant, I got diagnosed with PTSD in late 20’s first, then, over the years IBS, sleep disorder, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. The specialist said I had classic M.E.
So, when I have to actually do antibiotics, like how right now I just finished a five-day regiment to help heal my pneumonia, which I have never had.
After two days I begin to feel the imbalance of healthy bacteria being destroyed so that the pneumonia can be dealt with.
I also needed anti inflammatory meds due to inflammation of muscles around rib cage from low impact jumping on trampolines with daughter. Doctor says the jumping was a red herring, if I was not jumping I may not have known for a lot longer that I had walking pneumonia!
Keep in mind, inflammation is one of the biggest things I deal with and my prescription for cannabis helps indeed, until I get overloaded and, for the first time in years I am also in anti-inflammatory’s. I went out and bought them after Doctor suggested it strongly, and, I noticed it helped with pain right off. Sadly it also attacks my appetite and makes me feel nauseas. Not enough food and its hemorrhoids from hell, inflammation is helped by anti-inflammatories and cause me to have hemorrhoids which is in the end a vicious cycle!
I can sure use some chicken soup!
Due to the sensitivities, I now need to go back to doctor and get yeast infection and hemorrhoid remedy’s, probably anti fungal as well as a prescription for 600 mg easier on tummy anti-inflammation meds (the one thing covered). I need to get the liquid Bio K, the major pro-biotic, I need a case of them. I’ve spent all money I had left on stuff to get, for cough, yogurt out the ying yang, my usual helping meds for appetite which I barely afford most months and so on.
Today is Monday, I have no car and am not supposed to be walking more than two blocks, I am going to try my bike, will help ass I am sure.
IF you are able to help me drive to an errand today, I’d be most appreciative.
I go to Salvation Army for 1:45 to pick toys for daughter. That is close and could I bike trip that one.
I am about to phone doctor to see if he can help me deal with this today.
If you can help, call me or gmail me (email@example.com)
My roommate brought home some extra sub sandwiches from their work, I went out and brought it to my street family of past and present “illicit drug users” and “extreme drinkers”. It was so great to see folks whom I had not seen nor had time to chat with, one male in particular I seek out due to family bonds. He is Tony, Silly’s brother. I was really being hard on myself for not being able to rememebr his name, really bugs me, my lack of memory.
It was him I saw first when I went out, we said hello’s and got caught up fast as they were kind of distracted by a lot of police activity, love all around and home I went, feeling a wee bit strange about not being able to remember his name. I went out two nights ago as my roommate brought home more sub sandwiches, I went back, soon as I saw him I went and pulled over, got out with bag and he yells “Its subway man!” Made me smile big time, he walked over and met me, I said “I am so sorry but, my “fcked” memory is worse off than ever with me healing from pneumonia, he says with a Big Smile, “Toe, points to toe, Knee, point to knee..” he does this four times and we both laugh and I says “I am never gonna forget it now my friend!”
Here is a photo of his sister Silly, may she rest in Peace…
I thought of them both a lot when I was a t a recent convergence at Kwantlen University November 28th.
It was entitled Community Response To Criminalization and Police Targeting of the Poor.
What we did, and the we was mostly made up of past and present illicit drug users and our ally’s. What an amasing feelign of empowerment and IA want to share that with my brother. He would LOVE it at one of these days. We had total support by being driven nby bus from Viktoria to Kwatlen University! Objectives were met:
*Expose what’s actually happening on the ground from thje perspective of people who are most impacted.
*Share local picture to build a big picture of changes taking place in policing.
*Share local strategies that work.
*Begin towards a provincial network and and a national campaign.
The BCYADWS had their Annual General Meeting after and that was a great experience, although, I was in and out as I had to make more copies of our Victoria Leaflet regarding Police presence in Agency’s as well as a need for police to hjand out receipts when they engage with our homeless, illicit drug family and our poor family members. CTEHV has bottom lined this project and we are proud of the academic support we have gotten form day one from Rene, Rebecca and Susan! Susan was even able to come with me to event! I was so happy about that, I cannot express.
We had amasing speakers such as Tracey from WAHRS who acknowledged territory.
Aiyas who did an amasing job to insure all voices were heard and we were even on time!
Will Damon, Jenn Allan, Kabir-Vijayan and Rob Wipond gave a lot to educating us and bringing us closer together in a shared sense of unity much needed.
The desperation in each region became clear as well as the need for us to lead in unity so that we may survive with dignity.
kym a hines
Transform Homelessness Advocacy WAtch…
For feature film, spears corner short and trailer for movie ( You can go to: http://vimeo.com/67033942) :
I really wanted to support a local friend/ally and her initiative, which I believe is well worth supporting! I know some folks need help this time of year so, here’s the best around! A big reason I support this is shared at bottom of post.
We love dirty kitchens!
Call 250-532-6858! (don’t forget our discounted service for Elders, First Responders and anybody suffering in a health crisis)
We’ll clean your dishes and take care of any messes.
We will scrub the pots and pans ’till they sparkle and shine.
We will vacuum and mop your floors, do your laundry, fold,
iron, dust, tidy, organize and more. Whatever it is that you
need or want done to make your home clean and tidy
We will be here for you.
We are reliable, responsible and discreet.
Most Importantly… We can be there fast!
(usually within 48 hours of your call.)
Need a cleaning team more quickly than that?
Our main competitors usually want at least two weeks’ advance notice. We don’t.
We’re ready to go to work for you almost right away!
You don’t have to have a long term contract with us.
Our main competitors usually want a long-term contract and won’t just come out and clean your house one time when you really need it. We will and are happy to do it too!
Sometimes people just get behind in the housework and need a little help to catch up. We understand and we want to help.
Are you working long hours every week? It’s hard to manage a full time job and manage to get all the housework done all the time… We know it!
Isn’t your time off a valuable commodity that would be best spent doing things you enjoy, rather than scrubbing toilets, scouring pots and pans or chasing dust bunnies under the bed? Why not give yourself a treat? Get us to handle the housework so you can relax and enjoy your down-time doing more enjoyable things!
We are fast, reliable, responsible, discrete and friendly.
Phone Meaghan or Charles at “We love dirty kitchens” for more info at 250-532-6858. www.welovedirtykitchens.blogspot.com
It’s okay to call in the evenings (even late) and on weekends. We’ll get back to you ASAP if you leave a message. Still on the fence? Call for a quote — or to ask about references which are available upon request.
Our Local Victoria Business Wants To Work For You – Give us a call 24/7! We’re the new kids on the block (since 2009 now) and we can’t wait to clean your home.
Post from facebook about the energy behind this:
“I really appreciate the concern people have expressed about our situation… It feels good to get kind offers of help and expressions of solidarity at this time. We have decided that we will resolve this issue without accepting financial help from friends… it just does not feel right to me if we can do this without help from others that’s what I will strive to do… If people are still inclined and would like to help… and be supportive… please consider contributing to the Indiegogo campaign for the language classes that we are still wanting to do in the new year.
I will take care of making sure we keep a roof over our heads and good food in our tummies… but I can’t keep doing the language classes on my own dime.. and even with the meagre funds raised by selling various things… like hummingbirds and cedar bracelets… I still have gone into debt to do those classes…covering expenses related to those classes… and I the money we have raised has been set aside specifically and only FOR those classes. I should have tried to do the fundraising 2 years ago… I wish I had. It’s one of the areas where I have “lived large” on credit card debt… But for people know know me — you know I don’t live large at all… I don’t go on trips, vacations, out to movies or even out to dinner. I’m not complaining… I just want people to know that even though this crisis has been created by credit-card spending.. it was not created by living large. The biggest luxury I had was doing the language classes. But I don’t feel like I can keep doing that anymore… I need to focus entirely on paying the bills and paying off my debts.
It’s been a rough few days — filled with a lot of really quite painful reckonings…
Those Hul’quminum classes are a big part of my inspiration to keep on keeping on. I am the kind of person that does not feel completely at ease unless I am working on something to try and make the world a better place. 3 years ago when Willie and I first started working together I realized what an amazing opportunity I was being given by being privileged to coordinate and facilitate his dream of one day building his Snuwuwyl Lelum… Thus far, we’ve only managed to do 13 language classes… but those are about 30 hours of language lessons that would not have happened otherwise. I’m proud of the work we have done on that… and when I am feeling at my worst… my most hopeless and helpless.. it makes me feel inspired to keep going on and keep plugging away at my housecleaning work — knowing I am part of that shared vision with him and his efforts at trying to share the Coast Salish Hul’qumi’num culture to as wide an audience as possible. It is very hard to get down and feel despondent when I know I have a responsibility to keep carrying on with this work.”
I am kym a. hines, visitor in Lkwungen WSANEC Territories, I am Acadian from 1660’s settler and Metis from Red River Cree Territory.
I was visiting Coast Salish Musqueam Territories aka Burnaby Mountain. Diverse folks came and used their bodies to vote against pipelines in this area: many of us want an end to oil and gas as well as other resource extraction like mining and to end unnecessary suffering in the form of wars.
I was at Burnaby Mountain Because my heart responded to the First Nations led resistance to Pipelines, Oil, Gas and Fracking and unhealthy mining practice that are destroying all our future’s.
My fave quoate which moved me:
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip after processing on #BurnabyMountain. Arrested for “my grandchildren…future generations”.
Sut-Lut, a Squamish Elder who was one of the sacred fire keepers.
A mom and 11 yr. old, a mom and 19 yr. old. Christi Clarks disgusting remarks about them after in media!
David Suzuki’s grandson and his wife, his impassioned talk to RCMP, I was there the day David Suzuki’s wife and her comrades got arrested and educated us and Grandmothers saying no for over ten years! http://www.theklabonakeepers.com/
I went to a party on Saturday at the mountain after I had planned to risk arrest the day Kinder Morgan stated they were leaving!
I got to Burnaby Mountain quiet tired; I have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, PTSD and was in a flare up hoping for a ride to party/gathering. I waited quite some time at bottom of hill, I noticed many cars driving up so, I hit the road and started to hitch hike up. I never got a ride! It was despairing to watch all these fancy cars drive up with empty back seats. What changed? I got to where stand off was and just then realize I was not half way up. I cannot tell you the exhaustion I was experiencing, I began to ask for help. I got a lot of blank stares, I went to what I thought was the sacred fire, maybe Sut-Lut was there, whom I had been honored to film just days before, with RCMP being so disrespectful of sacred fire and our elder.
I had a young woman come and say yes, she’d help me get a ride no problem.
We had at least three or four cars drive past when she suggests I draw a rune on the snow to “help my vibe be more receptive.” Ok, excuse me? I asked, she repeated it and began what was a lecture on how one needs to be receptive…
I said “excuse me, maybe draw a rune for the folks who keep driving by me, I really think they can use it, not to mention a lesson in UNITY and INCLUSION!”
I asked her to just stop and I walked away, my last words to her were “you are no help at all sadly.” I filmed this and that and will get that up soon. For now, I can share I await to hear WHICH Kinder Morgan Pipeline area WE ARE GOING TO GO AND REMOVE THEM FROM!?
Many of us wait the call from First Nations, from community networks which are hearing where the need is greatest NOW. That is what I was thinking when I filmed this piece.
I was done and had just enough energy to begin my journey back down Mountain and filmed this piece.
I then headed to the DTES for a vigil for Mike Brown, Ferguson victim of police murder. I learned a great deal and struggle to hook up with folks who organized it. It had 60-100 people in the end. I was moved to action.
I wound up back in Pitt Meadows with a dear friend to whom I hole UP in the highest regard. Carol Romanow is and always has been honest, I know where I stand and I love her for it. I also was able to talk to an old dear friend, ally and comrade Calvin Woida who struggles with a broken heart, Big Hugs and Big Respect to both of you, this was inspired by you both.
In ending, we have work to do in regards to Unity, when we look around at our core group, sadly, they all mirror us too much, in my radical anti oppression 101 perspective.
Please, I beg you to reach out to “that group” to whom you keep a distance. Unite and we will move forward. We can figure out how to respect boundaries needed with action needed. The time is NOW. None of us are without need of constant vigilance and compassion. Martin Luther King was assassinated when he was just about to begin an International campaign towards the eradication of poverty thru the use of a Guaranteed Livable income, he understood how greed economics worked and, he finally understood the white man and the black man had a lot in common in poverty economics.
Malcom X was killed just after he realized the white man was not the devil.
Ellen Kaschick stated she believed that humans were not emotionally or mentally capable of living under oppressive state such as we have been for generations now.
These there points are critical to me, they come together and weave an answer we have all known. We are as strong as our weakest link, we all got work to do.
Environment seems to bring us all together. It has potential too anyways!
Respect and in the spirit of wanting solidarity.
Work for solidarity or divide and fall.
I was thrilled to make many new acquaintances and have know that we have begun many friendships at the National COnference which just passed in Vancouver, one of which is Emily Paradis. We met thru Lived Experience community at the National Conference. I was so thrilled to meet a peer my age with much in common, a new ally and friend. I invite you to read her experience and you may know why we met.
in respect and in solidarity with many others who want change from this conference, I give you Emily Paridiso’s “Can Activist’s and Managers Work Together To End Homelessness?” Many of us spent hours discussing this, in mixed crowds of managers and activist’s and lived experience…
Here are some of my photo’s and notes to begin the journey back to that National Homelessness Conference in Vancouver.
A little bit of art of mine from Conference is at start, it was like a sandwich board information board I worked on before hand that fit around me or stood by itself in spots here and there in hotel…
Many new friends and allies and folks I had not seen in years as well.
Victoria meets Vancouver in this one!
This next photo is the person who took care of all our Lived Experience Scholarship needs, and she did a great job. In the future, I think this position needs to be funded until ALL scholarships have left hotel!
Met some great folks in the DTES whom I never would have met if it were not for the scholarship! Like this jewel! Carnegie Center volunteer and lived experience person who helped feed us at the Carnegie welcoming dinner for us.
I also met a friend from Victoria on a walk about seeking camera film, and she also was influenced and influenced this conference, she was lived experience who did not get in on lived experience scholarships and many like her were interested, we maybe need to meet more often amongst ourselves with allies invited and present within BC?
In the next few photo’s; we had a great Lived Experience Workshop put together by Terrie Meehan. Rose Siccama was welcomed to speak about local issues to Vancouver as she attended the workshop. We had many provinces represented and loads of great information shared. Rose Henry was a last minute addition to this panel and she shared her personal experiences. Terrie Meehan is on far right in this next photo, this was her gig! Another new friend!
next photo’s: We had protestors and were not prepared to welcome them so, police came in and divided us all, we all had a lot to say about that. Both managers and lived experience alike were educated about how system keeps us divided and we support system to do this by our not getting involved.
These next two photo’s were me trying to get back into Hotel after protestors and inside conference people were divided by Police, RCMP and Hotel staff. I would learn in a meeting I called with Tim Richter that police had reassured Tim in a phone call a month or so earlier that “these Social Housing Alliance protestors are loud and vocal but not violent to people or property”, Hotel security said “no problem for us, we do this all the time”. I will write more on how we allowed police and security to divide us and how we can avoid it next time in Montreal. For now YOU and I can ask friends/allies/community activist’s and anarchist’s to let their Montreal contacts know that we, Lived Experience Advisory Council are currently working on writing invitation/protocol for next host city, in this case Montreal, and invite us all to protest and educate, show some unity and work on all levels.
Jiji Varonka lead a great panel on “How To Start” Peer Run Programs, she has recently sent me writing’s which might helpour local GVCTEH specially with our Peer Mentorship Program we are building now.
That is Emily far right in the group photo above! A welcomed visitor in our Lived Experience Advisory Council.
Go to below url to read blog on Homeless Hub! What a great bunch of folks and resource!
BUILD HOMES NOW! the virtual flyer proclaimed. The text below decried the medical and police control of poor and Indigenous people’s lives and bodies via state and NGO responses to homelessness. The “elite class of managers” attending CAEH14 was complicit in this régime of control, the flyer declared. It concluded:
“The Social Housing Alliance calls for a major mobilization to confront, expose, and oppose the government policies and NGO industries that manage homeless, low-income, and Indigenous people without challenging or disrupting the systems and social conditions that cause homelessness and poverty.”
Even though the call-out positioned me, as a conference attendee, firmly on the “them” side in its us-versus-them divide, I was glad to be invited. I can’t really deny being part of an “elite class of managers” – after all, “manager” is in my job title, and being a white, salaried university researcher who owns a house in downtown Toronto positions me as elite in comparison with most Canadians. But I believe that makes it all the more important that I refuse to be complicit in the management and perpetuation of homelessness. Like many of my colleagues, I have dedicated my professional work to challenging the systems and social conditions that cause homelessness, and I am also an activist on my own time. Besides, I enjoy sitting around and talking as much as the next academic, but let’s face it: conferences will not end homelessness. I looked forward to being part of something more direct.
That was how I came to find myself, the next evening, locked outside the conference hotel in the rain. It was a surreal scene: outside in the courtyard, dozens of homeless people and allies, waving red banners and chanting; inside the glass causeway above, hundreds of conference delegates, enjoying wine and salmon skewers. And between us, a line of police and hotel security, barricading the lobby. Two groups of people working to end homelessness, one being “protected” by armed police from the other.
Things heated up quickly. A guard crushed a protestor’s hand in a revolving door as he tried to push his way in, and the mood turned angry, with some activists pounding on the lobby windows. More CAEH14 attendees came down to join the demonstration but were prevented from exiting by guards who told them that the doors must be kept locked. Eventually, after some speeches, the demonstrators dispersed, leaving behind a wet stack of real and satirical research reports. Like the “house” I once saw in Toronto made of reports on homelessness, all that paper melting in the rain was a poignant reminder of how little positive change has come from decades of committed research and policy advocacy. Small wonder that it looks like a waste of time and money to people struggling for survival.
One could easily imagine that in some penthouse restaurant nearby, the real architects of the fiscal policies responsible for homelessness—development industry lobbyists and the elected officials whose policies protect their interests—were looking over the kerfuffle below and raising a toast that, yet again, they had managed to get us fighting amongst ourselves instead of against their agenda.
This was as close as Canadian conferences on homelessness have gotten to the 1989 International Conference on AIDS in Montréal, at which 300 AIDS activists stormed in uninvited and seized the mic at the opening plenary to (un)officially open the conference on behalf of people with AIDS, receiving a standing ovation even from many of the scientists present. That demonstration and the changes that followed it radically altered research and practice on HIV/AIDS. In claiming their place at the table, the protestors ushered in a new era in which people with AIDS and the organizations that represent them are included in framing policies and programs, defining research priorities and ethics, and providing services. The inclusion, leadership, and unique perspectives of those directly affected have been critical to global progress in this sector, and have influenced other sectors as well.
In comparison, input and leadership by people facing homelessness have been almost absent at homelessness conferences I’ve attended in the past. At previous national conferences in Calgary in 2009, Montréal in 2010, and Ottawa in 2013, there was little formal representation of people facing homelessness. These conferences hosted hundreds of attendees and offered dozens of workshops, but few were from the perspective of lived experience. A handful of people facing homelessness and anti-poverty activists were present as delegates, but there was no space in which to connect with each other and formulate demands to bring to the conference as a whole. Meanwhile, elected officials whose policies are directly responsible for homelessness were received at plenaries with polite applause and a disheartening absence of jeering, banner-unfurling, fake-blood-squirting, or other forms of direct action. Overall, at these gatherings, people facing homelessness were talked about, not with, and for the most part this talk lacked the urgency of direct engagement with a life-threatening catastrophe. Many of the academics, policy makers, and service providers in attendance were staunch anti-homelessness advocates, but our discussions took place in the absence of an organized, visible collectivity of people living in poverty to challenge our analyses and investments.
The All Our Sisters conferences on women and homelessness in London, Ontario in 2011 and 2014 have offered an alternative model, grounded in feminist praxis. Both conferences included a critical mass of delegates facing homelessness—about one in four attendees—whose registration fees and travel costs were covered by the conference. Workshops and plenary sessions included a balance of expertise from research, services, activism, and lived experience. There was a room set aside for delegates facing homelessness to connect with each other and take a break from the sometimes-alienating conference culture. In 2014, the conference was co-chaired by a group of women facing homelessness, and even included a demonstration that was organized from within the conference.
I had the good fortune to be involved with two research teams at All Our Sisters 2011 that built on the theme of inclusion and leadership of women with lived experience. One, which we dubbed the Good Practices Project, presented the findings of participatory research examining organizational practices that support leadership and inclusion. The second was an initiative sponsored by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness to bring together women facing homelessness who had been involved in community-based participatory research. A Homeless Hub report summarizes the insights shared by this group over the course of several meetings and workshops during the conference.
The good news is, many of the lessons from the All Our Sisters model were brought forward successfully into this year’s conference in Vancouver. The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and Canadian Observatory on Homelessness sponsored the attendance of more than 40 delegates with lived experience, including some local activists who had also helped organize the protest. Two workshops focused on inclusion, several others featured presenters with lived experience, and a convening space was made available for people facing homelessness and allies to re-charge and collaborate.
Delegates facing homelessness seized these opportunities. One group developed a declaration of principles for inclusion of people with lived experience, while a second brought forward ideas for connecting with local activists at future conferences. Several key leaders in these discussions were women who had participated in the inclusion initiatives at All Our Sisters, demonstrating that leadership opportunities make future innovations possible. In response to the interventions of these groups, the CAEH announced the implementation of a Lived Experience Advisory Council. This body will, no doubt, further improve representation of people facing homelessness, and communication with local activist networks, at CAEH15 in Montréal. Which is good, since you don’t want to land on the wrong side of Montréal activists.
This is a promising beginning that I hope will unleash the hybrid power of researchers, policy advocates, and service providers making common cause with people facing homelessness and activists. While no one can say whether this will bring an end to homelessness, I believe it’s the only thing that could.
Emily Paradis, PhD, is Senior Research Associate at Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, where she is Project Manager of the Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership. She has been an activist, researcher, advocate, and front-line service provider with women facing homelessness for 25 years. Her scholarly work focuses on homelessness among women and families, human rights dimensions of homelessness and housing, community-based research and action with marginalized groups, and participatory interventions to address socio-spatial inequalities between and within urban neighbourhoods. Her creative projects have included collaboration on the National Film Board project HIGHRISE, and she is a member of the Right to Housing Coalition.