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Homeless Perspectives

Meet Roger: The homeless speak

Originally published by Homeless Perspectives. We asked Roger what he would say to the average Canadian if he had the chance to tell them just one thing. His answer: “Tell them not to judge us. Please tell them we’re just like everyone else…”We met Roger outside of City Hall, where he was huddled in a sleeping bag on a bench. He kept one eye fixed on us as we approached, clearly suspicious of us at first. He warmed up to us as soon as we started chatting, but after hearing his story it’s no wonder that he has grown so instinctively distrusting.We introduced ourselves and broke the ice by offering some cheeseburgers. Roger said he came from Kapuskasing, a small town in northern Ontario. He was intensely proud of where he grew up, telling us about its beauty and making sure we had the correct spelling for it.We asked Roger how he ended up in his current situation. He told us he had been a welder by trade, and was making a decent living until his father became very ill. He immediately dropped everything to take care of his father. Roger spent 3 years caring for his father, spending time with him, and listening to his stories. He didn’t go into the details, but when his father died after 3 years of sickness, Roger was left with nothing – no home and no money. That’s what ultimately put him out on the street, but he says he doesn’t regret any of it. Roger describes that 3 year period as the ultimate gift he could have ever given to his father, and views it as the best thing he ever did.This is when we asked what he would want to say to the average person if he had a chance to open their… Read More