The Door is Open

The Door is Open

Bart Campbell

Language: English

Pages: 144

ISBN: 1895636361

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


finalist bc="" book="" prize<="" b>="" (hubert="" evans="" non-fiction="" prize)<="" p>

finalist="" city="" of="" vancouver="" b><="" p>

the="" door="" is="" open<="" i>="" a="" compassionate,="" reflective,="" and="" informative="" memoir="" about="" three-and-a-half="" years="" spent="" volunteering="" at="" skid="" row="" drop-in="" centre="" in="" vancouver’s="" downtown="" eastside.="" an="" area="" most="" renowned="" for="" its="" shocking="" social="" ills,="" the="" notorious="" distinction="" holding="" country’s="" "e;very="" poorest="" forward="" sortation="" all="" 7,000="" postal="" prefixes,"e;="" bart="" campbell="" dismantles="" our="" hard-held="" notions="" poverty,="" disenfranchised,="" substance="" abuse,="" nature="" charity.<="" one="" man’s="" story="" transformative="" journey="" into="" complicated="" complex="" world="" poverty.<="" p><="" div="">

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British Columbia—Vancouver. I. Title HV4510.V35C34 2001 362.5’09711’33 C00-911580-3 Represented in Canada by the Literary Press Group Distributed by General Distribution Services The publisher gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the B.C. Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Book Publishing Industry Development Program (BPIDP) for their support of our publishing program. Anvil Press 278 East First Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5T 1A6 www.anvilpress.com CANADA

have about yourself when your muscles buzz with residual aches left over from some tough, physical job. A couple of cold beers at a tavern on the way home taste great when you’ve paid for them with honest sweat. While I was walking home from the temporary employment agency I recapped the morning in my mind. The most surprising thing I had learned was that several guys waiting around for temporary jobs with me had full-time jobs to go to later. One guy who worked midnights as a security guard

course on child development and foster parenting. From the outside looking in, foster parenting can seem to be reasonably lucrative. If a child is placed in the care of a relative, the BC Ministry of Children and Families will pay them $574 per month for children under eleven, and $669 for children between twelve and nineteen years of age. A foster parent receives $638 per month for each child eleven and under and $732 per month for children over twelve, and $989 per month if the child has

depression could be washed away by the tide as easily, when I looked up and saw that contentedlooking family. I remembered feeling so jealous that I nearly fainted, and I had to sit motionless on the sand for several minutes. I told my counsellor about it and exclaimed: “That’s what I want my life to be like. I want to find a woman who will love me and I want to have at least two more kids with her. I want my life to be like that happy family I saw on the beach.” My counsellor sagely reminded me

managers is that they seem to cope with their jobs better than the public poverty workers I’ve met. Public health nurses, welfare and social workers, the police and probation officers all seem to wrestle with burnout problems. But religious workers hardly ever do—perhaps because they see at least part of their mission in life as service to the poor. Or maybe it’s because very religious people have one basic thing in common with the homeless: They can’t live in the real world! Nuns often situate

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