A portrait of a homeless man in Regina, Saskatchewan

Me: With all the rider gear I assume you are from around here?

Justin: I was born here but then I moved to Calgary

M: When did you move to Calgary?

J: I was months, months old. I was there until I was 13.

M: Do your parents live together?

J: No, mother’s real spun out and dad, I don’t know, Dad isn’t really there. He got diabetes and kind of broke his back six times, and I dunno, I can’t explain her life, cause I don’t know, but she puts a smile on everyday.

M:What brought you here?

J: 11 years old and my mother was put in jail, my dad told me at that point that he couldn’t handle me anymore and told me to get out. So I just walked my way through Calgary to my aunties house and my aunties like, well, I guess you go to the foster home for the night because we can’t keep you here so I went to the foster home for the night and they called my parents, well I guess my mother, and she had gotten, I guess, a parole or whatever and they put me on the bus here and I’ve been here ever since. (Is she still out?) I don’t know where she is now, she did something 5 years ago there when my Grandpa passed away and like I asked her not to do it but she went to his house and took some money from him and a mentally ill person that lives in the house. But uh, she just involves me in it, and I got picked up for it, even though I didn’t do it. It looked to my family like I had done something even when I hadn’t. So when I got out I got from social services I was very vocal I guess about wanting to hurt my mother and I got put in jail for it. When I got out I found myself alone on the street and not able to trust anybody. Not because of drugs, because simply I had been put in a @#$% situation.

M: So what gets you through day to day?

J: Just making.. one person smile, that’s it. I just want to make sure we all know that we are important. We all walk around on the same streets.


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