Tony bought his shoes at Sports Direct, a discount clothing store in the United Kingdom.
What is your biggest struggle with poverty on a daily basis?
“It’s boredom. It’s hard not to have something to do or places to go. It’s nice to have somewhere to stay and get clean—shower—and where you don’t have to leave. You can get smelly after a while on the streets.”
“I’m a nurse from Glasgow, Scotland. I work in the Emergency Dept. at a local hospital. I saw a really good deal for round-trip airfare to Toronto and jumped at it. It was on sale for 129 pounds for return home. I bought the ticket in January. My trip was for September to the middle of October. A six week duration. But, come September, I had no money.”
“Or not enough money anyway. I misjudged the cost of accommodation. I figured I could get a bed at a hostel real cheap but even in Windsor, they run $60/night. Yeah, I messed up there!”
“My main reason for coming to Toronto was for a techno party. It was a great party! After that, I wanted to see Niagara Falls and then I heard there were amazing techno parties in Detroit.”
“It didn’t look that far on a map so I started walking. I walked to Niagara Falls. I slept in a hammock hung between trees at night. After Niagara Falls, I started walking to Detroit. It was a lot farther than I thought! Ha-ha! I walked about two hundred miles and ended up taking a bus to Windsor.”
“I’m staying at the Downtown Mission. They’re good to me there. Nice facilities and a nice shower. Bunk beds and clean bedding. No bedbugs.When you have to leave in the morning, you’re handed a ticket so you can have breakfast.”
What would you like people to know about living in poverty?
“It’s lonely and boring. It’s hard. But, people help me which is lovely. I googled this shelter and came to check it out. I thought I’d lend a hand here. I’ve been washing dishes. It makes me feel less guilty about taking up a bed at the Mission. A bed that someone else might need more than me.”
“I know I’ve got a little money. Just enough for bus fare, stuff like that. I’m doing okay. I’ve never really felt sad or desperate. Nothing lasts forever.”