City Paper is not for tourists
StreetSense, trusted for its typical, well-meaning mix of stories, doesn’t disappoint with the latest issue.
You’ve got your “Where do homeless go in the cold?” and “Gay youths more at risk” stories. There’s some predictable railing against housing budget cuts and an interview with some federal muckety-muck.
But Page 10 offers this little gem: “Helpful Hints from the Homeless: How do you go to the bathroom when there isn’t one?” A couple of Shaw ANC habitués recently tried to convince me over a few beers that every single homeless person in the city opts to travel to a certain alley in their neighborhood to let loose. The StreetSense investigation proves otherwise.
“Depending on my location, I use a bucket or glass and have someone keep watch as I squat. It’s extremely challenging and dehumanizing,” says Brenda Karyl Lee-Wilson, who’s been homeless four years, four months, one week and six days (as of the date of publication).
“If I can’t find a secluded building, I just go right where I’m at,” says Randy, homeless for eight years.
Veronica Maynard, on the streets three years, has higher standards: “I never go any place where there is no possible use of a bathroom.”