S: THE MAN IN THE ALLEY
FC: THE MAN IN THE ALLEY A perspectives project by Eileen Li 'A view of the views of homelessness.'
1: What's wrong with those people? Lazy no-lifes Living like animals Why don't they settle down? Stop doing drugs? Get a job? Get a life? | Sure is easy. Listin' out all the things we should be doin' steada sittin' on our butts. But would anybody give a hobo a job? One look at me and they've already decided. "Gettin' a life." As they say, may be a bit harder than they imagined.
2: Hey, Uncle Ted. Dad told us at dinner today that you've started a new market in downtown Toronto! How's it going? Is there any trouble? I hope business is going well! Sincerely, your nephew Samuel. | Why don't those stupid a**holes get a job like the rest of us? Think they're so cool, doing drugs and living off tax payers' money.
3: July 16th - Had a complaint yesterday from Mrs. Hobbs, an old customer. She asked if I could please get rid of the men sitting outside. Claims that they look at her wrong when she enters the store. Went to check. Few homeless bums sitting outside smoking. The druggies. Yelled at them to leave. July 18th- Men still here, even after I warned them about loitering. Can't believe my taxes are going to these thugs. Threatened to have police involved. July19th- Why won't they G O A W A Y?
4: Druggies. Every single last one of them. They're criminals. That's why they're on the street. They're animals. They should be locked up somewhere far away, where they can't hurt us humans.
5: You messed up your own life. Dude. | They tell you it's not their fault they're on the streets, doing drugs. That they fell on some hard times. Don't believe them. | IT'S ALWAYS THEIR FAULT. | d
6: Research shows that Canadian taxpayers pay more than 500 million dollars annually as "life support" towards the homeless under forms of shelters, food banks, addiction services and support groups. Yet, we still find them scattered in our streets, badgering the population for money. They're disruptive and violent and an unappealing part of the city. We all know what they're using the money for: beer and drugs.
7: But what if it's not their fault? What if they're not lying? Perhaps they were telling a truth that nobody wanted to hear What if we're partially to blame?
8: Most of us hate homeless people; they're a an ugly, unappealing splotch in our ideal, pretty lives. But, why do we assume that it's their fault for landing in the street? Could we possibly have had a part in this? Did we help the little girl hiding in the closet? The vomiting aunt in the washroom? The wife huddled in the corner? The pleading, desperate husband at the interview? Did we do anything to support them, make sure they're safe and happy behind the walls of their homes? We're not trying hard enough, and we're failing every single one of them. | "People can be so apathetic. They continue to ignore the real people trapped in poverty and poverty. It's almost maddening." -Daphne Zuniga
9: It's as if we're trying to ignore the sad, desperate people reaching out for support. It's as if we're helping to create people with no where to go.... ...and blaming them when they end up in the alley.
10: People can be so apathetic. They continue to ignore the real people trapped in poverty and poverty. It's almost maddening. Daphne Zuniga | Some of us hate homeless people; they're a an ugly, unappealing splotch in our ideal, pretty lives. But, why do we assume that it's their fault for landing in the street? Could we possibly have had a part in this? Did we help the little girl hiding in the closet? The vomiting aunt in the washroom? The wife huddled in the corner? The pleading, desperate husband at the interview? Did we do anything to support them, make sure they're safe and happy behind the walls of their homes? We're failing them.
11: It's as if we're trying to ignore the sad, desperate people reaching out for support. It's as if we're helping create people with no where to go.... ...and blaming them when they end up in the alley.
12: This is how the world ends. This is how the world ends. This is how the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper. | How much longer can we last? Human beings ignoring other human beings. We claim that we're not animals, that we're civil: PROVE IT. We claim that we live in a developed world. We claim that we're open minded. That we're accepting to differences: PROVE IT. Open your eyes and look around. Start seeing. The man by the trash can has blue eyes. That woman with the shopping cart is holding a baby. Once you learn their stories, you'll begin to realize; these aren't savage animals. They're human. Like you. Like me.
13: My name is John. I'm a social worker, helping kids get off the streets and into caring home. My mother died when I was thirteen. My father was an alcoholic. He couldn't control himself. I couldn't keep on living with him. So I left. I was fifteen. That's why I work so well with these kids. I know what it's like. I know exactly how it feels to be let down by the people who are supposed to protect you.
14: Some people think that street people are drug-dealing bums who screwed up their lives by skipping school and smoking. That's not entirely true. I left because of an abusive father. I had no choice. Some people think that once you're on the streets, you're trapped for life. That's not entirely true either. I managed to get out. I guess what I'm trying to say is... don't make any assumptions. When I see an old man in the alley, I don't think of druggies or bums. I think of a weary, tired man with a long, complicated life that might not have turned out the way he planned. His wife's death. His company's bankruptcy... It just goes to show how little we can actually control in the world. It could have easily been you. We should do whatever we can to help them. We're all humans, brothers and sisters. Linked in one way or another. How can you allow your brother to go cold? How can you walk right by your sister without looking them in the eye?
16: But there's hope. Sure, we're blind. But we're seeing light through the cracks. Imagine all the good we could do if we opened up our eyes. Imagine all the changes we could make.
18: If we keep on working.... Keep on searching for our vision... Keep pushing forward.... | "We have come dangerously close to accepting the homeless situation as a problem that we just can't solve." -Linda Lingle
19: We'll make it. | a world without homelessness where everybody can live in peace happily gratefully forever. all it takes is a shift in perspective...
20: Explanation of Perspectives Project | SLIDE ONE: Brief comparison on the two points of view on homelessness: on the left, we have a typical "they're druggies and criminals" point of view. On the right, there's a response from the homeless people and what they think. SLIDE TWO & THREE: The perspective of Uncle Ted (who represents the general view of homelessness). Uncle Ted owns a market, and is annoyed and disgusted by the number of homeless people hanging around outside. He has a bias that all street people are druggies and criminals. SLIDE FOUR AND FIVE: Slides four and five represents the perspective of Uncle Ted. He assumes that all homeless people are either drugged or violent criminals. The bottom left image represents the hopelessness and desperation an addict feels. The images together represents the "history" or "life" Uncle Ted associates with a street person: Buying drugs, using drugs, selling drugs. SLIDES SIX AND SEVEN: Slide six accuses homeless people of abusing taxpayers' money. The pictures of drugs and beer represents all the ways a homeless person supposedly takes advantage of charity. Slide seven begins to question just how true our assumptions are. Perhaps these people are simply lost and confused. Perhaps they aren't violent druggies, simply poor people who had fallen on hard times. SLIDE EIGHT AND NINE: A new perspective is introduced. This perspective believes that perhaps the homeless are not to blame for their conditions. The pictures on these two slides represents all the factors that might cause homelessness. The pictures of the child huddled in the corner, and the sad , scared women represents different forms of abuse. It gives a questioning look on our role in homelessness. If we had done something help these people, would it have kept them off the streets?Homelessness could also be caused by financial difficulties or a disease in the family(the woman in bed, the man standing by a stack of pennies). A pale fire burns in the background, representing just how dangerous these situations could be.
21: SLIDE TEN AND ELEVEN: Slides ten and eleven shows the fire in a more solid form. This represents just how fast abuse or conflict can lead to a meltdown, and ultimately homelessness. SLIDE TWELVE: Slide twelve challenges us to become more aware of the people around us. It questions just how willing we are to accept the realities of our environment. SLIDE THIRTEEN AND FOURTEEN: John, an ex-street kid turned social worker, describes his experience being on the street. His perspective on homeless people is that they were put there by some form of conflict or problem (example: abuse, robbery, company bankruptcy). He denies that homeless people "chose" the life they lead by doing drugs and making bad decisions. SLIDE FIFTEEN: These images represents all the ways a life could go wrong (leading to homelessness) Top right/top center/ bottom center image are of women/family members with cancer/other diseases. Finding the money for their treatments could have been a conflict that eventually led to homelessness for their families. Center left picture is of a car accident; this image represents the unforeseen problems that could come up during our lives. Fights, abuse and neglect are also reasons people take to the streets. SLIDE SIXTEEN AND SEVENTEEN: Despite all the misunderstanding and confusion centered around the homeless, there are people who are willing to help. There are charities trying their very best to help people living on the streets, like Covenant House. Food banks and fund raisers are also trying to raise money to support street people. However, a big number of us are still reluctant to help these "bums" and "druggies." However, if we simply shift our perspective a little bit, we might discover that they're people, just like us. SLIDE EIGHTEEN AND NINETEEN: These two slides are the conclusion for my perspectives project. They inspire us to keep working towards a better future, where everybody could have a roof over their heads and food on the table. The images represent happiness, and hope for a better future. All it takes is a shift in perspective....
22: A SPECIAL THANKS TO: | -http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/homeless.html (for the quotes on homelessness) -http://www.covenanthouse.ca (for the information found on slide 6 and general information on homelessness) -http://google.ca/images (for images found in the slides) -en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuse (for information on abuse and how it contributes to runaways and homelessness)