Statistics are supposed to be dry, but sometimes they make me cry.
It is hard to see the breaking of a man laid out by statistics. To see a man who is trying to do it all right; pay the mortgage, pay his bills, go to work and do everything he is supposed to do be reduced to nothing is heart breaking.
He first stayed two nights in 2005. He was sober.
He does not appear again for almost a year and a half, but now he is drinking heavily. He goes through periods where he seems to be trying very hard, and is always sober, but then things fall apart. He is hospitalized with a life-threatening infection and almost dies, but is able to make a full recovery.
Our records show he is staying with us more often, drinking less, but still struggling with the stress of meeting his financial obligations, and keeping his employment while living in a shelter. He might be offered a transfer with his work, but not to where he really wants to go; back home to the place that he has been paying the mortgage on for all these years.
When I see statistics like this, I want to cry, and then I get angry that we as Canadians allow this to be.
Written by: John R., Manager of Data Systems