DeeAnn Marie

Posts tagged Homelessness

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Fear grips Prince Albert following horrific assault of Marlene Bird

Homeless woman viciously attacked in PA. This should be making national headlines across the country. Instead we are only hearing about it in Saskatoon (the closest neighbouring city) 2 weeks after it happened, and a week after a hundred people marched in the community to demand answers.

The PA mayor has been quoted as stating, "You would think they would unite and sort of come together and..take care of each other".

It is up to ALL OF US to care for one another and to help the vulnerable and marginalized. Show love to your fellow humans today, our corner of the world needs it.

Filed under saskatoon yxe Prince Albert homelessness homeless shelter Mark Horvath

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Anderson Cooper tries a Schizophrenia Simulator

Where I work we have a tenant, I’ll call him Wolf, who always greats everyone with a “Hello <name>!! How are you today, my friend?”

Which is a great opening line and so many people through out the day stop to chat with him. Often the conversations ends with a polite ask for a hug.

One day I see Wolf and he doesn’t smile when he greets me. “Hello,” he says in a monotone voice.

"How are you today Wolf?" I ask.

"Oh, you know DeeAnn. The voices. Quite bad today." And he turns his fingers in a clock-wise motion beside his head. This is the first conversation I have had with Wolf where he does not smile from ear to ear.

Wolf spends the majority of every day, every Saskatchewan day, outside, sitting on benches. I bug him, it’s too cool, he’s too bundled up, it’s too windy. “I like to be outside,” he says.

This video gave me a tiny glimpse into what it must be like to be Wolf and why his positive attitude astounds me. 

Next time you see someone sitting on a park bench that is wearing too many layers or looks lost in thought, remember they may be dealing with their illness the best way they know how. 

Filed under mental illness schizophrenia anderson cooper homelessness housing

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New report spotlights crisis in housing poor

The Problem

Rooming houses, already often old and run down, are disappearing in the inner city, which means far fewer housing options for the very poor. Over the last 20 years, 1,400 units have vanished.

The people who live in rooming houses are the hardest to house — often the poorest people, in the grip of addictions, mental illness or crime and flying under the radar of social services.

A confusing mess of government agencies and departments regulate rooming houses, and none do so effectively. Four separate city bylaws and branches now regulate rooming houses, plus the province’s health inspectors, the Residential Tenancies Branch and provincial housing programs. Many rooming houses aren’t licensed so they don’t get regular fire or health inspections, and many sidestep residential tenancies rules altogether.

No one knows exactly how many rooming houses there are. No one counts or keeps track.

Filed under homelessness housing housing first winnipeg rooming house

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Voice for the Voiceless

Please watch this little 6 min film to meet some of the people I serve and learn why I am so proud to work at the Lighthouse.

Thanks to Bear, Warren, Harvey and Karmen for sharing in this powerful piece filmed by the Evan Hardy Media School. They interview me a little bit too.

This film premiered at Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon in the middle of January and Giving A Voice To The Voiceless won Grand Prize and Fan Favourite. 

Filed under homelessness mental health poverty thelighthouse yxe saskatoon

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Find a home here

Canadian charitable organization RainCity Housing provides to the homeless housing and support services. As a way to raise awareness, the organization engaged the help of ad agency Spring Advertising to create two special park bench installations that double as ads. 


(Source:, via thisbigcity)

Filed under Homelessness Homeless shelter

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Lydia Nelsen has started an indiegogo campaign to support funding for Invisible People, a non-profit that raises awareness of homelessness and homelessness issues. When you donate to the campaign donors will receive a Homeless Hotties calendar

Mark Horvath, the founder of Invisible People states he has no connection to this campaign on his facebook and that Lydia Nelsen started her campaign without Mark being aware of it. He writes

What get’s me upset, is that funding of homeless awareness is almost impossible, when awareness is actually the most important. 

Lydia and her friends took real tangible action to help their community. You may not agree with their actions - but at least they did something!

It is ridiculous that the best way Lydia could think of to bring attention to homelessness is to use naked women’s bodies to bring light to poverty, housing, mental health and addictions issues. Why must we objectify women or link societal problems to sex to draw attention towards societal issues?

These photos remind me of PETA’s ‘I’d Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur’ Campaigns. Again, perhaps a good cause, but really just an excuse for a celebrity to get their boudoir photos published widely.

I have not figured out how best to bring attention to these issues either. It is something I continue to work at. Watching and sharing the videos at Invisible People is a good place to start. Educating yourself, volunteering, and donating are also great ways to get involved.

And while my mission is to bring greater awareness to the plight of those who suffer from a lack of housing, I guarantee I won’t be publishing a Homeless Hotties calendar in 2014.

I’m curious to hear what you think. I’m I being a prude? Is this a great indidgogo campaign? Does it inspire you to contribute? How long before Lady Gaga dresses in these get-ups?

Filed under homesless hotties grossiest hash tag homelessness invisible people indiegogo

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The Vancouver First United Church runs a storage facility that lets homeless people in the city temporarily store their belongings. I was going to describe it, but they do a better job (so does the video above):

Imagine having to carry all of your belongings with you at all times. You would be unable to go to a doctor’s appointment, a job interview, fill out a housing application, or even use a restroom without risking the loss of all your possessions. That is the reality for people living on the streets. 

For people who are homeless, our storage facility is often the first step off the streets. Having a secure place to keep their belongings gives folks the ability to access services, address their health concerns, seek apartments, and go to work. It is a low cost and truly transformative service for people in need in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

Also, the storage facility provides jobs for marginalized people living in the Downtown East Side (which is also the largest cost). Also, if you aren’t unfamiliar, the First United Church is a really great place and they love Jesus, but don’t hate gay people or anything, so it’s a cool place to give money to.

They need $6,000 to keep the storage facility going while they try to secure permanent funding partners. I have about 500-followers on Tumblr and I figure about half of them are probably from Vancouver, so if all of us Vancouverites make the $7 donation to provide a week’s worth of storage for one person, they’ll have the remaining $1550 they need and you will only be short, like, one pint at the Alibi Room and we all know you drink too much, so it’s a win-win.

Filed under vancouver homelessness End Homelessness

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With $1 million spent on one patient, Duncan lays out reforms

About 20 individuals in Saskatoon are known to use more than $100,000 per year in health and other community services, she said. “Sometimes it’s emergency visits, ambulance, other community services or corrections resources … They really need a wraparound service to help them,” Davies said. “Many are homeless.”

Society would do better to redirect that $2 million toward providing those 20 people with housing and other supports, she said.

Filed under The StarPhoenix Saskatoon yxe Regina Homelessness mental health addictions

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After you interview me for a job, I visit a pantry for food…I have bathed in public restrooms. I have slept in emergency room lobbies. I have cried myself asleep with one eye open to protect myself and my remaining property. What does homeless look like? I am not disheveled or haggard if and when we meet. I am now a jobless woman trying to get back on my feet. So don’t become confused about what you see just because I am not pushing all my belongings in a shopping cart down the street. I am the new face of homeless! It is I! It is me! The college-educated woman broken and lonely trying to get back on my feet!
Sharon D. Felder, of Indianapolis, Indiana 

(Source: thesmithian)

Filed under homelessness

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The Blue Slippers

Do you remember when a couple brought a box of shoes to donate and inside there was some blue slippers? Well there was a client who I was able to help through those slippers.


This person came to me complaining about his feet and I asked them what was wrong. They stated they had blisters and asked if I had a band-aid. I asked to look at his feet because I wanted to see how bad his feet were. They proceeded to undo their shoes and at this point I noticed they had no socks on and was wearing high leather work boots.

As the shoe came off I saw how bad their feet actually were and I knew I did not have the medical experience to help them. What I was able to do was get them some socks, and I grabbed the slippers that were just donated and brought it to them. I was assuming the slippers would be too big as they were wearing a size 7 shoe and the slippers were a 10. But when I brought them over, they fit perfect! The shoes they were wearing were 3X too small!

My next step was to get in contact with our new nurse Donna to see if she would have time to dress their feet at some point. This person has been with us for a few days and has been known to just hang around the dining area. So I knew if I was to find our nurse it wouldn’t be a problem to find them… I was wrong… the nurse came and this person was no where to be found! Turns out the socks and slippers helped out wonders and this person was walking around outside! We finally tracked them down and the nurse was able to dress his feet… by supper time I saw the first smile I have seen on this person… it totally made my day and week!

Woke up this morning to this story in my inbox from a co-worker and just had to share!

Filed under homeless shelter emergency shelter poverty homelessness slippers