Terry obtained his shoes from the homeless shelter.
“I get most of my clothing here. Everything I’m wearing right now is from here.”
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“Food. I eat some of my meals here. I use food banks as well and go to the grocery store as funds permit.”
“I’m fine for shelter. I have a room at the corner bar. It’s very clean and I’ve good neighbours. I’m not complaining. Other people have things far worse than me.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“I see it as a case of “there but for the grace of God, go I”… that’s poverty. It can fall on anybody at anytime and anywhere. Look at me! I had a stroke in January. I couldn’t work at Casino Windsor anymore. I was a supervisor there. Now, I’m on social assistance. It’s been a very big adjustment.”
“But, I don’t let it get me down. I never get depressed. I look forward to tomorrow as a better day. I don’t feel sorry for myself.”
“I see people in my position who have fallen off the path. They’re unshaven and dirty. You don’t have to be like that. You can shower here. You don’t have to swear at people and be angry like that man over there.” (Pointing at a young man who is inches away from the face of a shelter manager, waving his fists in the air. I’ll leave the young man’s words to your imagination.)
“There’s choices. You don’t have to act that way. I don’t. I always say I have a case of terminal niceness.”
“I have an older sister who looks down on me. Calls me a bum. She needs to come in here and see what it’s like for all of us. That’s alright, though, I love her just the same! I’m not going to let it bring me down. Nothing will!”