Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So I went out and interviewed a homeless man December 15th 2013. He lives in an alley close to the AMC theater near Atwater Metro. He was very open to answering questions and his face lit up when I offered him an orange and a hot chocolate for his honesty and his help. He is a French Canadian therefor his English was not the best, however, I was nonetheless shocked at his bilinguality. This is what he had to say

1. What’s your name & age? Julien Gauthier, 23 years old
2. Were you raised in a religious house hold? No. My parents were "athees" 
3. How long have you been homeless? I've been on the streets 2 and a half months but homeless, (pause) i guess 3 years.. Tabarnaque... Its, uh, its been a while hasn't it? Jesus.. 

4. Do you have any siblings or close relatives? If so, what is your relationship with them like? I have one sister: Agn├Ęs but I don't uh.. I don't talk to.. We don't talk anymore. You know... Its hard to uh... maintenir these kind of relationship... When you look like me (laugh) Its uh... its hard to hold on to the people that mattered... and very very rare for someone to accept you.. you know?

5. What area do you prefer to stay in? And Why? around Atwater Metro. Its the least crowded.. A lot of cops but its worth it, you know? Its worth it to not be bothered by others like me.. They're not good to be around, you know? Once you lose everything.... There's no hope.. you know? Cause there's nothing to hold on to. These guys, some are crazy, you know? You have to learn to stay away from them.. The police is no so bad. They just yell at you, These guys? They'd spit on you, feel you up, beat you just to get your spot. 

6. What is the general response you get from people regarding your appearance?  Curious, shy stares. No one talks to you. No one cares. I could be dead in front of them, they wouldn't do nothing.. I'm like a piece of garbage. No one looks at me. And if they do, they think i'm nasty.(pause) I used to beg, that was how I made money, but No one gives. Now I don't. It's not worth the money if the guy giving is too afraid to touch your hand and won't look you in the eye, you know? (pause) Its hard..

7. Are you religious? No. Jmen criss de la religion. I just don't care. I really don't care. And I don't.. I don't understand it (laugh)

8. How did you become homeless? I didn't finish secondaire. My dad he uh.. he didnt like me much you know. He prefer my sister. I dont like him either.. He use to smoke coke. All the time, you know, even when i was small small small. I saw him do it. My sister started to smoke cigarette and I wanted too. When my dad was gone or sleeping i'd smoke a little. And a little more and more.. I smoked his whole stash one night (laugh) He was so mad, his face was purple! He kicked me out after that. I had a job at Mcdo but they exige that you have an address.. They uh.. kicked me out after they found out i was uh living in the bathroom (laugh) I had to quit coke.. I didn't have the money.. It was hard.. I uh went to the YMCA and they gave me names of places i could sleep there so I wouldn't be on the street. (laugh) I was too pretty! They thought I would get raped! (laugh) 

9. Do you visit any programs to help the homeless? If so do they help? Not anymore. They only like you if you are homeless enough for them to fix you. If you are too homeless and smell bad they won't let you in. They used to love me but now, I don't bother go back. I'm not pretty enough now (laugh)

10. Do you have any plans for the future? Yes, I want to survive. That's the important. If i get to tomorrow, thats all I want. I don't care about the rest. People might give you bullshit about taking their life back and being like them again. No.. I tell you the truth. After being here this long.. I won't get off. I just want tomorrow.

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