ATTENTION: Please listen to this interview. Clayton’s open and candid interview brings to light not only the problems of homelessness but the solutions to end homelessness.
I like Clayton. I really do. He shares a very real story about surviving homelessness in Yellowknife and the Northwest Territories of Canada. During the short summer season it’s bearable, but winters are brutal. An older homeless man probably about 60 years-old, who wouldn’t go on camera, told me it was so cold this past winter that he cried twice. I cannot imagine the pain from living outside in 50 below weather.
Clayton worked as a welder than hurt his back. He now lives on limited disability income and what he can make panhandling. As he puts it “days are long”. He wakes up, panhandles to get enough money to buy booze and get drunk, only to do it again the next day, and the next, and the day after that. Clayton, like the thousands of aboriginal homeless men and women on the streets like him – don’t have a purpose to live!
The only way we’ll ever end homelessness is by listening to homeless people. The only way we’ll ever have impact in helping our homeless aboriginal brothers and sisters get off the streets is by listening to them. Providing purpose, encouraging community, and housing – done their way – not ours – is the only solution that will work.
The answer to end homelessness is in Clayton’s only wish.
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Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way we think about people experiencing homelessness.