I cried, I cried with happiness and sadness.
Last week, I was phoned by two groups of homeless outreach workers. They hoped that they would be able to move Bob into our little community.
Bob is a well-known homeless person in the valley. He had been tenting behind Safeway for quiet awhile. Bob gave himself a formal title “The president of Comox Valley Homeless Association”, although there’s no such association in the valley.
I met Bob in 2005. He was a resident of Maple Pool for about a year.
However, he drank a lot and he brought some not-so-good friends over to have fun and party quite often. In the end, we had to ask him to move out of the park I had not met him after that, but I sometimes would read an article in a local newspaper about him.
This September, I saw Bob at the barbecue event held by Dawn to Dawn in Simms Park. He was not the same Bob that I remembered. Bob looked older — and sick.
After I confirmed that Bob would move into our little community this weekend, I asked my husband to clean the site and get ready for his trailer to connect with the services. Dali helped set up his trailer that afternoon and I went to see him right after.
Bob said, “Thank you, Jin. I am so happy to come back here I will not do any stupid things as before. I am sick now, and I need a quiet and warm place to live now. I wouldn’t believe that I have my own trailer to live; people are so generous to me.”
You should have seen his eyes. He was so excited and sounded like he won the lottery.
I responded to him, ”You are welcome. Remember, people can only help you so much, and you are the only person who really can help yourself with your determination. Welcome home, Bob.”
Then, I left because I had to go to buy sewer pipe and water pipe for him to hook up with his trailer properly!
On the way to Canadian Tire, I cried and I cried with happiness and sadness.
For so many years, we have dealt with many people who need a place that has a roof, a place that is safe, a place where they can cook, a place where they are able to lie down and have a good night’s sleep. These elements are very important to them.
Whoever has been on the street, in the bush or into a dumpster for a while, it also takes time for them to feel comfortable and feel they are included again into our community.
Nothing is easy; however, nothing is impossible. My husband and I are still learning that caring is not through your mouth but from your heart.
A few municipal election candidates have come and showed their concerns of the vulnerable people who are residing in Maple Pool. I thank you all: Larry Jangula, Starr Winchester, Jean Rowe, Dave Smith, John Van Egmond, Marcus Felgenhauer and Bill Anglin.
Thank you very much.
Editor’s note: Jin and Dali Lin operate Maple Pool Campsite.