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SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — Todd Jay isn’t any stranger to the struggles that include homelessness.
“It’s all part of life now,” mentioned Jay.
“I wish to go away P.E.I. I’ve simply had sufficient of this place.”
Two years of his life have been spent dwelling in his automobile after shedding his condominium.
For 17 months, he lived in a motel with out entry to transportation – earlier than being despatched out attributable to his canine barking.
After that, from June to December 2022, Jay’s solely possibility was to stay in a tent, surviving on $60 a month.
“It was exhausting.”
For Cindy Gallant, the 5 months she spent dwelling in her automobile have been the longest 5 months of her life. In a nutshell, she felt soiled.
When she wanted the washroom, she went to an area laundromat. She struggled to seek out locations to park that wouldn’t lead to a ticket or tow.
Each night time, she went to sleep afraid. Each her bodily and psychological well being suffered.
“My legs are worse from sleeping within the automobile, sitting within the automobile, and my toes obtained actually dangerous,” mentioned Gallant. “Your hygiene, your mentality, your bodily look… all the pieces. I actually didn’t perceive the problem again then, however I do, now.”
Jay and Gallant have been only a few of the dozen or so Summerside residents who rallied close to the Group Fridge on Might 24, hoping to lift consciousness about homelessness within the metropolis.
The occasion comes a day after various tenants have been evicted from the Summerside Motel.
Elysha Whitlock, who attended the gathering, is aware of among the residents by means of her volunteer work handing out hurt discount provides.
When she heard concerning the eviction, she went to the motel and helped transfer belongings from the rooms – even when the residents have been uncertain of the place they have been going.
“My concern yesterday wasn’t a lot ‘the place are we taking the issues,’” mentioned Whitlock. “It was ‘they simply can’t be left there.’”
Whitlock mentioned that, as of Might 24, some belongings nonetheless remained behind.
“It was fairly heartbreaking to observe that,” she mentioned. “It was actually exhausting on me emotionally, attempting to calm folks down, when there isn’t any reply to offer them, there isn’t any answer proper now to supply.”
Organizer Ivy Inkpen has needed to carry a rally for a while, however following yesterday’s incident, she determined there was no higher time than the current.
“I needed to have one thing occur right this moment to at the least acknowledge the struggling that’s happening,” she mentioned.
Inkpen – who assists with Summerside’s unhoused inhabitants – briefly noticed the motel eviction earlier than she was requested to go away, bringing sleeping luggage and tents for many who wanted or needed one.
In a phrase, she described the scene as “chaos.”
“Individuals didn’t know the place they have been going, they didn’t know what they have been doing, they’d no means of transportation,” she mentioned. “Any individual had a cab come and so they have been throwing stuff within the cab and didn’t even know the place they have been gonna take it.”
Finally, Inkpen desires those that are experiencing housing insecurity to know that they don’t seem to be alone and don’t must really feel ashamed of their scenario.
“There’s a complete neighborhood that cares.”
Kristin Gardiner is a reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. She might be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @KristinGardiner.