Support takes patience, time

He’s a person, not a project, letter writer says.

Dear Chilliwack,

I get it. Your heart wants to do something for the man who can be found sitting outside across from the storage unit on Vedder or by the train tracks near Canadian Tire. So you bring him a bag of something from your closet or something you purchased at the store. You drive to find him, park at a safe distance, and approach. But you don’t understand why he won’t take your gift, why he waves you off, why he says “No thank you,” or when you persist in forcing it on him, he turns and flips out at you.

It is not because “He’s a very proud man.”

No. He’s a broken man. He’s a broken man who doesn’t want bags of things because bags attract beatings from others on the street and your gifts will get taken from him anyway. He’s a broken man who doesn’t wear gloves so he can keep small items like granola bars and cash in his hands and up his sleeves without anyone else on the street noticing. Acts of charity for items he hasn’t asked for aren’t what he needs because they put him in danger.

You know what he needs—besides a home? He needs no-strings-attached relationships. He needs people to sit on the sidewalk with him and respect his desire for silence or occasionally tell him a story. He needs us to show him we see him as a person, not a project. Projects have a planned start date and an end date. “Walk up. Drop off gift for homeless man… Done. Walk away. Act of charity: complete.” Sorry, that’s not seeing this man as a person.

Getting to know this man will take our time. If we’re going to force anything upon him, it should be our loving, caring, lavishly spent time.

Dave Hawkins

Just Posted

Jordyn Huitema and Canadian nationals second at 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship

The Chilliwack teenager was among the tournament’s scoring leaders with four goals.

Chilliwack vacant homeowners could be hit with speculation tax

Municipality included although Cultus Lake and Chilliwack River Valley excluded

Chilliwack soccer stars help Coastal FC win national title

The team beat Ontario’s Burlington Bayhawks in the U-17 Cup final.

Drugs and cash seized by Chilliwack RCMP

One man was arrested and drugs were seized in the early hours of Oct. 12, police said

Heavy turnout at advance poll in Chilliwack

Some voters waited as long as two hours

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Most Read