Homeless Hero

Homeless Hero

Postby Scrobins94 » Jan 21st, 2019, 12:48 am

Hopefully Richard and other fellow neighbors that are homeless can start their own Journey Home soon.

Already our neighbours
Contributed - Jan 18, 2019 / 2:27 pm | Story: 247139
Regarding the Agassiz Road development, a reminder that the homeless are already our neighbours.
Like everyone, sometimes they make good choices and sometimes they make poor choices – drinking alcohol or using drugs. The only difference is they don't have a safe place to call home.

On Nov. 12, I had a profound interaction with an Aggasiz Road resident. After dropping off recycling at the bottle depot, I heard a man yelling: "Does anyone have Narcan?"

Narcan is used to resuscitate someone who has overdosed. I drove my truck over to where he was standing. There was a young man out cold on the pavement. The gentleman who gave the alert was trying to wake him up. I called 911 and jumped in to help. The young man wasn't breathing and had no pulse. We started CPR, me doing chest compressions and the gentlemen doing rescue breathing.

For what seemed like an eternity, we worked on resuscitating the young man. Thankfully, his heart and breathing restarted and the ambulance showed up.

Before jumping to the conclusion that the homeless man was the overdose victim and the bystander was someone like you or me, read on.

The person who alerted me to the overdose victim and did the rescue breathing was the homeless man. From him, I learned the person overdosing was 23, comes from a "good," church-going home with money and means. This young man could have been my son or yours. Thanks to the care and action of a homeless man, that young man's parents didn't have a call from the morgue.

Before turning a blind eye or throwing stones at the people who live on our streets, take a good, hard look in the mirror. Have you ever made poor choices or a mistake? Would you have jumped in to save another human being’s life as this homeless man did?

After the ambulance left, I spoke with the homeless fellow, Richard. He was very upset. He said: "I told him not to buy drugs on the street. Drugs ruined my life. I once had a good-paying job making 70-80K a year and became addicted to heroin. I'm off drugs now, but I can't seem to make more than $8K a year. That boy comes from a good family, a good home. I really hope he doesn't end up throwing his life away because it's so hard to get back on your feet."

Addiction is a real and unfortunate part of the human experience. If you have been blessed with an addiction-free life, please try to have compassion for your neighbours who are struggling and need a hand up.

Have compassion and embrace this opportunity for a stable home for our homeless neighbours. Our community will be better for it. Richard already is a great neighbour we are blessed to have!
Nicole Rustad , Kelowna

https://www.castanet.net/news/Letters/2 ... neighbours

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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby W105 » Jan 21st, 2019, 6:49 am

seems to me that Richard knows exactly how horrible it is being an addict...gotta a feeling if he spoke to that young man again he would say "stop, do whatever it takes to get clean and stay that way"...doubt he would say "hey, son, you can manage your addiction "....you know kind of like how a wet facility looks at the situation...
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby spooker » Jan 21st, 2019, 7:42 am

W105 wrote:seems to me that Richard knows exactly how horrible it is being an addict...gotta a feeling if he spoke to that young man again he would say "stop, do whatever it takes to get clean and stay that way"...doubt he would say "hey, son, you can manage your addiction "....you know kind of like how a wet facility looks at the situation...


You're right ... ultimatums are the only way to deal with this issue ... education and treating someone like a human being have no place here ... sort of like Nicole's story where one person helps another just because he can and understands where someone is coming from ...
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Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something. -- Plato
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby Fancy » Jan 21st, 2019, 7:49 am

I didn't get that out of W105 's response and certainly didn't read anything about education having no place.
Incidentally, should homeless still be considered homeless if they are not living on the streets?
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby W105 » Jan 21st, 2019, 8:01 am

well if your narrative is that everybody thinks homeless and/or addicted people are not human beings, then I guess you are also right...but not everybody does..

I wonder how many times Richard wanted help to stop his addiction and was told "sorry, there's a waiting list, unless of course you have $5k handy for a private treatment center"..

too bad we weren't into publicly funded treatment centers yrs ago like we are into publicly funded supportive housing that still allows drug use like we are today...remember that young 17 yr old girl who died a few yrs ago ?? she had to be sent to Vancouver for treatment where she was kicked out because of some stupid rule (can't remember exactly what the reason was again) and where she was sent I think they had a hot 8 beds available for treatment...
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby Fancy » Jan 21st, 2019, 8:15 am

I believe this is the girl you're referring to:

https://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/1 ... rve-to-die
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby W105 » Jan 21st, 2019, 8:23 am

thanks Fancy, yes that is the young woman who like the article stated "didn't deserve to die" because of a wait list and that stupid rule...
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby Calculator » Jan 21st, 2019, 9:28 am

Is it just me or does this letter smell a little off with all of the details in all the right places? Besides, back in Nov, wasn't the bottle depot still on Kirschner?

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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby Fancy » Jan 21st, 2019, 9:53 am

She was just leaving the bottle depot when she heard the commotion. She's been a big advocate for the Agassiz Road housing development.
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby Calculator » Jan 21st, 2019, 10:00 am

I have no idea whom the writer is nor do I have any affiliation to either side of the Agassiz Rd project and for the most part I am completely apathetic towards it regardless. All I'm saying is that when I read that letter it looked a lot more like marketing to me. My eyes rolled deeply to the back of my brain as I read how our homeless hero knew that the poor OD victims family went to church... What a crock of *bleep*.... just sayin'... I'm out.
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby Fancy » Jan 21st, 2019, 10:06 am

Oh I don't doubt Richard knew a little bit about the young man if they walk in the same circle.
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby Calculator » Jan 21st, 2019, 10:08 am

Well I think it's only appropriate that Castanet goes and finds Richard and starts a GoFundMe for him.
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby WalterWhite » Jan 21st, 2019, 11:21 am

Calculator wrote:I have no idea whom the writer is nor do I have any affiliation to either side of the Agassiz Rd project and for the most part I am completely apathetic towards it regardless. All I'm saying is that when I read that letter it looked a lot more like marketing to me. My eyes rolled deeply to the back of my brain as I read how our homeless hero knew that the poor OD victims family went to church... What a crock of *bleep*.... just sayin'... I'm out.


Google the name “Nicole Rustad”...
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby Calculator » Jan 21st, 2019, 11:54 am

The question is whom paid Vortovia to write the letter? The developers or the City of Kelowna? BOOM! Now we've got a story? Anyone have access to the writers Facebook feed to see if she wrote anything about the encounter in the days following her life saving encounter with Richard? Twitter? Anything?
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Re: Homeless Hero

Postby spooker » Jan 21st, 2019, 1:24 pm

As I am a friend of the writer on Facebook and have known her as a friend for almost a decade I did see this on her feed before seeing it as a letter to the editor on Castanet ... but how that would affect your own interpretation of this story I can't say ...
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