Saturday, August 20, 2011

To call or not to call

After coming home about 5:30 this afternoon, I saw a man sprawled on the ramp very close to our building.  He was not wearing shoes and his feet were twitching.  His head was tucked under his arms and he did not appear to be moving.

I decided to go in the back entrance and then called the non-emergency line to ask for somebody to come and check on him.

Another lady had seen him there and also gone by the back entrance to avoid contact in case he was dangerous.

After I made the call, a policeman came almost right away and I don't know the outcome. I went downstairs to watch from a safe distance and I was glad that it was a policeman who came. He can talk to him and assess the situation and he knows how to defend himself if the man turns aggressive.

Did I do the right thing?  I don't know.  He could have been a drunkard sleeping it off, or he could have been on drugs.  Either way, human beings in that condition are unpredictable.

I also ran into an old fellow today who was begging on the street.  I have seen him before and I think he has mental health issues.  He told me he was 62 years old and that he lived on the street.  He showed me. by lifting his shirt up, just how malnourished he was.  His ribs were showing.  He also took off his running shoes and his feet were dirty and his nails were a yellowish tinge and far too long for comfort.

He also said that Mission Services and the Salvation Army refused to help him.  At this age, it is highly unlikely that he will find a job, especially in his poor condition.  I am going to call Mission Services and find out what I can about this comment and find out why they bar people.  I met another old fellow years ago when I was first here who demanded money and was extremely aggressive.  In fact, one time he demanded $9.00 from me and came an inch or two from me.  I felt very intimidated.  I would not go out for three or four days that time, until I decided that I had to overcome this fear.  I almost went back to Toronto due to that incidence.

I have donated money and worked for one of those agencies in Toronto.There has to be a reason why they refuse services to needy individuals.  Perhaps this man has been abusive in some way and they don't want him on the premises.  I don't know.

It is a judgement call I made, with the intention of helping this man lying there.  I hope that I have done the right thing.

More and more older people are falling through the cracks - not quite old enough to get Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Security, and thus are in need.  This man who was begging is older, I don't know the age of the man lying on the sidewalk.

Thanks for reading my blog.

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