Don’t forget — today is World Community Arts Day – Art as a Catalyst for Caring and Sharing.
Make some art! Share it with your friends, family, and community! Send some love out to the universe and eachother.
Today, I stood outside with a group of awesome and committed individuals concerned about social justice and homelessness in Saskatchewan and specifically Regina.
1% Home Sweet Home, a collaborative effort by individuals and over seven organizations, was created to raise awareness about the low vacancy rate in Regina (1%) and the cost of housing in relation to our wages. It was freezing!! And, in a way, the weather kicked it up a notch to really prove the point – everyone needs a warm, dry safe place to live – don’t they?
Photo credit: Prairie Dog Mag
The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Regina is $802. If you are on social assistance, that is 93% of your cheque! If you work at a minimum wage job, 73% of your income will go towards that $802 apartment and food.
Creator and photo credit: Gerry Ruecker
As a teenager, I was both kicked out of and voluntarily left my parent’s house (a few times). I always had a place to stay and have always been grateful to those people who let me stay with them. I never thought of myself as homeless but I guess that couchsurfing is a form of homelessness. My experience has given me an understanding of how it can happen and compassion for those who are experiencing it right now. But do you have to experience it or know someone who has to have compassion?
There are so many stories. As part of the installation, there were also videos playing that Dr. Marc Spooner recorded as part of his study on homelessness in Regina. He spoke with the experts – those who are homeless.
Today, someone stopped and asked me .. are the homeless just people who don’t work? It wasn’t really a question. Even though I have personal experience and a heart for the issue, it is really so complex, I wasn’t really sure what to say. I tried to say a few things but I don’t feel I said the things that will bring this man to a deeper understanding. Maybe the media coverage will help to bring the message across – CBC, Prairie Dog, Leader Post, radio stations like MBC all came out to interview and take pictures.
I don’t know. I still have a lot to learn – so do we all.