Following is a message I received on another board. It comes from Christopher in Wyoming.
ok well here we go. i was 8 yrs old when i started to have seizures in went to every doctor imaginable tell i was 14 yrs of age when i went to barrows intute down in Phoenix AZ. Down there they did brain surgry in remove a banana sized brain tumor it stopped the seizgures until 3 yrs. ago when on a drilling rig i had my first seizgure since i was 14 i am 36 now i was 34 then. Since then i cant find a job cause every job that i go to does not want to hire me because of my disablity. which makes it hard to find work in this town of Casper Wy. i did own my own house with rentals. i lost that due to bills i lost the truck i was driving due to my seizgures i cant even afford to look ne where becausae im dumb foded by the lack of respect that paople have now dayz for my illness in for the fact that that i was doing good 3 years ago had my own house my own job that i was at for 8 in a half years. girl friend that i planned on marrying. all that went out the window. that day. i lost everything. includeing self respect its been hard to find a job at X-mas time in that im homeless doesnt make it any better i broke there are times were i wonder if life is worth living at all is there any hope for me people look at me different i now have no friends i have none of anything people want do they even want me around its hard to live this life in keep my head up when theres no one that cares my family dont care they were the first ones to go. my friends next to the point where i have to decepre whos a friend in whos not cause people now days can take you for all your worth in not look back. I dont know ne more they are days when i wake up with a smile on my face in it all goes
Hi Christopher, thank you very much for your message. Life is certainly unfair. All we can do is take it one moment at a time. Try not to dwell on what happened in the past. Now is the only time we can make a difference in our lives. I wish you love and happiness for the future

Climbing Trees




Chuck was bundled up with thick mitts,  a scarf wrapped around his neck and chin, a woolen cap pulled low on his forehead. His glasses were frosted. He said, “The other day, Joy was pissed off with Ghyslain for cutting her grass. Ghyslain was pissed off with her because she hasn’t been around much and he’s been using her spot. I never have problems with other pan handlers. I was at the corner near the coffee shop and Ghyslain was half way down the block. The people who gave money to me wouldn’t have given to him and the people who regularly give to him wouldn’t give to me.  You notice neither Ghyslain or Joy are here this morning. They probably think they’re avoiding each other when there’s no need.

“Did I tell you the story about me climbing the tree. Obviously, this happened a long time ago when I was still drinking. I came in one night drunk as a skunk. I managed to get up when the alarm rang. I took a cold shower, dressed and walked over to my brother-in-law’s place. That was when we both worked at the brush factory. I knocked on his door — no answer. I went around back, knocked on that door — no answer. I went around to the side. There was a tree right beside the window, so I shinnied up, jimmied the window and climbed inside. I knocked on his bedroom door. He opened the door all bleary eyed. I said, ‘Get dressed, we have to go to work.’ He handed me the car keys and said, ‘You go down and warm up the car. I’ll be there shortly. So I did, I started the car, slid over to the passenger seat — they had bench seats back then. My brother-in-law got behind the wheel and asked me, ‘How did you manage to get into my house?’ I told him how I got in. He asked, ‘How did you get out?’ I said, ‘The same way, I slid down the tree.’ He said, ‘But you had the keys in your hand. I’m driving you home. You’re in no condition to work.’ He was right, we used very dangerous equipment. To trim the brushes I used a saw, where the blade was turning hundreds of miles an hour. My fingers were a fraction of an inch from that spinning blade.

‘The brushes were held together with wire. Sometimes, not very often, the wire would snap and knock my glasses across the room.”

I asked, “Were you wearing safety glasses?”

“No, we had no safety equipment at all. There was a woman working on a machine that trimmed these extra fluffy brushes. She’d been on it for years. She choked on a piece of fluff and died.”

“Well, This is the last day I’ll be here this winter. It’s just too cold for Goldie. So have a Merry Christmas and we’ll see you in the warm weather.”

“Merry Christmas, Chuck!”


Sore Legs




17 December 2014

“Hi Joy, how are your legs today?”

“They’re sore. Yesterday I could hardly walk. I think I may have water on my knee, it’s swollen.”

“Are you going to see a doctor?”

“Not if I can help it. I have a doctor, but he creeps me out. He’s one of those guys under a turban. I just don’t feel comfortable around him and it’s hard to understand what he’s saying.

“I hate that Ghyslain is panning on the corner. He’s cutting my grass. I think he’s on crack. One day he was bragging about how much he’d collected, the next day he said he was broke. If I’d made that much it would have lasted me a week. Not only that, he’s only here when the weather’s good, then he fucks off to Rimouski. We don’t see him again for six months.”

I asked, “Have you read any more of my book lately?”

“Not much. I’m a slow reader. I can only wear my glasses for so long, before I get a headache. I like the parts about Big Jake, though. He want’s to read it after I’m finished.

“He’s been coming by early lately. The Mission kicks him out at 7:30. If he doesn’t leave then he’s stuck there the whole day. I’m going to have to kick him out for a while. I’ll be seeing enough of him at Christmas.”

I said, “He’s got lots of friends, There are plenty of places he could go.

“Is there any word about the scooter you were going to get?”

“I’m waiting for Buck to bring it to me.”

“I hear that Chuck will be getting a new chair as well.”

“Yeah, I wish they’d hurry up. If he gets a new one, maybe I could get the one he’s using now. I’d be happy with that.”

“Is André out of hospital now?”

“Yeah he’s out. Now he thinks he can drop over to my place anytime he wants. He’d come over at 9:30 in the morning. I told him, ‘Phone first, or I won’t let you in.’ He tried it a couple of times. I saw him at the window and said, ‘Not today, now get lost.’

“He’s pissed with Hippo because of the bike he sold him. It didn’t come with a lock, but Hippo took one when he left. I said, ‘You know where he lives. Go straighten him out.’

I said, “Big Jake could visit André. They both seem to be looking for friends.”

Joy said, “That won’t happen, because of the beating André laid on me.”

“How has Jake been treating you?”

“He’s okay. He knows what’ll happen if he raises his hand to me.”


New Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars From ambivalent to better informed, December 7, 2014
Verified Purchase
This review is from: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (Kindle Edition)
I bought this book in part because it was advertised as “proceeds to charity.” After reading a few pages, it was apparent the author already had been giving generously to the homeless folks he met on the street.

Most people seem to have definite opinions on the subject of panhandlers. I’ve always been ambivalent. I read this book to become better informed. The author did not disappoint. He presents a wide variety of personalities and situations and leaves it up to the reader to draw conclusions. I encourage others to read it for a better understanding of the issue of homelessness. Although these conversations take place in Canada, I’m sure they would be much the same anywhere. The author skillfully recreated these conversations without recording them.

It was helpful for me to take a few notes on those who reappear often. I would have preferred to follow a few stories instead of struggling to remember a huge cast, many of whom played small parts over a period of months.

I felt a range of emotions while reading, including anger, sympathy, frustration, sadness, and hopefulness. The book is well worth reading and will leave you grateful for what you have.

New Amazon Review


4.0 out of 5 stars
Book is Worth Reading, December 5, 2014
Shirley McLain (Sapulpa Oklahoma) – See all my reviews


Verified Purchase
This review is from: Gotta Find a Home: Conversations with Street People (Kindle Edition)


This Canadian author set out to make a difference in the lives of the street people he met and i think he accomplished that. Anytime you treat people with dignity even if they don’t fit societies mold you make a difference. You get to know the stories characters through the conversation Dennis had with them. With this book Dennis opens the eyes of the reader to another world that most of us don’t want to be involved with. It’s a book that is worth reading.