Obert Madondo’s CAP AIDS Ordeal: My First Night at the Homeless Shelter
As reported here, my landlord successfully applied to the Landlordand Tenant Board here in Toronto to evict me. The eviction came into effect on Monday, February 28. Late Tuesday, I moved into the Maxwell Meighen Center, a downtown Toronto shelter for homeless men run by the Salvation Army.
It’s as depressing a place as any homeless shelter can be!
Most of the men appear to be alcoholics, drug addicts and potentially violent. Most wear broken bodies; you can almost feel the brokenness of their souls.
The rules are strict and so I’ll have to learn to live with considerably restricted freedoms. We’re required to be out of the dorms by “no later than 7:00am” and may not re-enter the dorms until 4:30pm. Curfew is 11:00pm. Bed check is 2:00am.
I share a 3rd floor dorm room with 3 other homeless guys. Concerned about security and safety, I was a bit nervous before I met them. Then I met Craig (name changed) and our acquaintance started off on the usual stereotypical note. He assumed that I was Jamaican and asked if I knew where to find weed in Toronto.
I sought to know more about Craig. He says he’s a computer programmer. He grew up in Nova Scotia and studied at the University of British Columbia. He claims his current situation visited him after he assaulted some guy who’ was nagging his girlfriend at a party they attended. He spend a few days in jail and when he got out, she threw him out.
Apparently, Craig and I share a common passion for literature. He’s currently reading Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. I just started reading The Road, a post-apocalyptic novel by American writer, Cormac McCarthy.
The other two guys came in quite late and I didn’t get to talk to them last night. But I got to know a little about them as they both kept me awake for most of the night. One snores continuously like a roaring lion. The other has this persistent bad cough that I suspect is a symptom of some serious health problem. All night, the room reeked of alcohol.
Naturally, there were moments when I asked myself how I went from executive director of a Canadian charity to homelessness. (Please visit my blog to understand my exploitation and racially-motivated harassment, sabotage, neglect, victimization and discrimination by some directors of my former employer, CAP AIDS.)
But, at the core, I unconditionally accept the undeniable fact that my life has taken this tough turn. This is my LIFE. I’ll weather the storm!
And I’ll emerge from it many times stronger? Giving up is not an option!
I’m standing on the shoulder of an experience as tough as any. I survived 9 years of degrading and violent colonial rule while growing up in the village in Zimbabwe. I survived my father’s 19 years of violence.
I survived 10 years of Robert Mugabe’s genocidal violence while fighting for democracy in Zimbabwe.
Tags: Obert Madondo , Immigrant Exploitation , CAP AIDS , Immigrant Harassment , Immigrant Worker , Refugee , Immigrant
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