Page 1

e n i z b e W H T 4 t r A The

Art4TH Zine Diclaimer and Copyright notices. Art4TH does not retain the copyrights to any of the art works, articles, or any other media property. Each artist and writer keep their copyrights and have full permissions to republish and use their part in the Art4TH Zine to help them further their careers and also for personal use. This zine is simply for promotion on all levels especially that of homelessness awareness. The arttworks, columns, or the views of the writer's and artists do not necessarily reflect those of Art4TheHomeless. Art4TheHomeless solely exists to promote homeless awareness in the USA by simply uniting artists of all mediums and venues.

Art4TheHolidays So far, the Art4TH fundraiser campaign has raise around $60 with donations coming in from friends and supporters. $40 of the donations are from cash donors, and the other two went into both the Art4TH $250 Donation Campaign ($10) and the

Art4TheHolidays Campaign. All donations to either campaign will go toward the Art4TheHo lidays fund where we will share half of what we raise with Invisible People. Thank you all for donating!

$60 raised!

In This Issue Awareness Spotlight Performing Arts Literary Arts Joanna’s Corner Trista Hurley-Waxalie Thrifty Living


t h g i l t o p S s s e n e ar

e g n a h c x E n a m u H a i Victor y t e i c o S

Victoria Human Exchange Society The Victoria Human Exchange Society is a grass roots group providing support and advocacy to people working hard to solve their own problems. It is simply a partnership of human beings – all with gifts to be shared and exchanged with those in need – and by supporting one another, we grow towards a healthier community. Anyone can become homeless/ unemployed overnight these days. Without an address and a phone number, people cannot begin to seek employment. The Society rents houses from sympathetic landlords and welcomes poverty-afflicted persons who live at these houses until they solve the challenges facing them and move on to permanent housing. We are particularly concerned with persons in recovery from substance misuse (who have at least three months clean and sober); persons with mental illness who have medication and support; and persons seeking re-integration with estranged families.

CHARITABLE DONATIONS ARE SORELY NEEDED! Donations of food, supplies and financial aid are needed. Charitable Tax Receipts* are available upon request. You can give through the United Way by designating your donation for the Human Exchange. If you are a Government worker and give through the Provincial Employees Community Services Fund, our number is: DC1077. Our gratitude to all Provincial Employees who give to us through this method.

OFFICIAL SPONSOR Of the Art4TheHomeless Webzine and Gallery

s t r A g n i m r o f r e P

Keith Picot

The Art4TH Zine was honored to be presented with this beautiful video by award winning bassist, Keith Picot, who has written, directed, photographed and acted in over 40 short films. Frank Georges and The Truth is a Christmas film that is released via YouTube at no charge for anyone who wants to see—and we’ve embedded it on our website.

t n a r g a V e h t d n a p o C m a l i The M s i r h by C

Early January, 2012 It’s around midnight in the parking garage that I call home. I’m on the fifth floor stairwell curled up on the asphalt trying to fall asleep, trying to not let the arctic air break me down. Sleep never came easy on cold nights or any night when I didn’t have the comfort of a bed to drift away on. Humans are adaptable though, I would always catch at least a couple of hours of interrupted sleep on most nights. Whenever I dozed off I was granted a reprieve from thinking about my predicament. Dwelling on dark thoughts when you’re homeless is the surest way to a mental collapse. Looking for answers when none existed always followed a similar pattern. Why am I homeless? Cause I’m a loser. How can I get out of this situation? Well, as I stated, I’m a loser, ain’t happening. Will I see my kids again? Losers don’t see their children. I was thankful for those couple of hours of sleep, a brief respite from sinking into self-loathing and regret. I hear the rumble of a car. This is not a sound I wanted to encounter. I’ve slept in this garage for roughly two months and I’ve never seen a vehicle drive up to the roof. Never. Headlight beams splash off the concrete. Fuck. Fuck. I immediately flatten my body in an attempt to disappear, I wanted the asphalt to swallow me. With the stairwell being encased in glass, I was hiding in plain sight. The car slowly rounded the corner and came to a stop directly across from my lair, the gig was up.

mentioned I could go to a shelter, I said I would consider that. Finally the officer said “I didn’t see you here tonight, understand?” Huh? “I didn’t see you here tonight, understand?” I nodded and they drove off. I understood, he was telling me to go lay back down, he wasn’t going to run me off. I was grateful. I curled up once again and finally dozed off. A car honks. Seriously? Fuck. Maybe an hour has passed and another vehicle invades my concrete home. I once again shuffle out to meet the interloper. He gets outs of his car and meets me halfway. It’s the cop, the driver. He drove his own car this time, he must have gotten off duty and decided to come back. Odd. He hands me a bag. I’m more than a little confused. I peek inside, McDonald’s meal inside, a Sports Illustrated, a puzzle book with a pen, pair of gloves and a toboggan, a McDonald’s gift card for $10. I’m speechless. Why would he do this? Why me? So, after his shift, instead of going home to his family, he stopped by the parking garage to help me. He made time to help a man he didn’t know. He saw a man in dire trouble and he chose to intervene, he came back instead of forgetting about me.

I thanked him profusely. I didn’t know what else to say, I was stunned by his goodness. He handed me a business card to a place called Transitional Living. He told me that they might be able to assist me. He mentioned that they worked with homeless people with mental issues. He told me to call them and I said I would. He also said he knew the woman who ran the place and he would I got up and shuffled over to the police car. Two call her in the morning and let her know about me officers, both youngish, sat perfectly erect in their and my situation. I thanked him again and we seats. They asked what I was doing there, I mum- shook hands. He drove off and I thought about bled something about going through a tough how nice this guy was as I tore into those cheesetime. I used a lot of “sirs” when speaking to the burgers. driver. I just wanted them to leave and hopefully not arrest me on a trespassing charge. The driver

EPILOGUE He made that call. I eventually made it to Transitional Living and received the help I truly needed. I stayed in their housing program for a couple of months and had access to a therapist and a case manager. I had a comfortable place to sleep and I had people around me that cared about me and my recovery. I learned new techniques regarding how to deal with my depression and all its unsavory tentacles. I learned to start believing in myself instead of falling victim to endless self-hate. I began to laugh again, to trust people again. I was given the tools to start a new life and I’ve taken advantage of it, my future is up to me now and I’m intent on making changes in my thought processes to ensure that I never visit hell again, that I never give up on life again. I see the world in a different hue now, not the black that has followed me for years. To Kathy, Jennifer, Pam, Sara and all the staff at Transitional Living, I am indebted to you and I appreciate all of your efforts, without all of you my transformation from a lost man into a rebuilt and stronger man wouldn’t be possible. To officer Matthew Mulcahey of the Hamilton Police Department, you reached out to a broken man and offered hope. You will always be a part of my story and my redemption. Thank you, sir. “Sometimes it’s easy to walk by because we know we can’t change someone’s whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize is that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place.” ― Mike Yankoski

Writer, Chris Milam

a n n a o J y b r e n r o r e C l l s e ’ t a y n r n o t S Joa a n a i s i u o L d r a l l a B

Not bashing them, just wondering how many companies have such a policy. it is almost like, "Oh you are homeless? then we better not help you or give you chance, no address and all, even if employees are doing so with their own funds". Just a bit of my thoughts and feelings which are myriad, from my own experiences. I am also wondering what happen to caring, and being your brothers keeper, ... especially Please keep in mind those not so blessed because of life's storms as I was hobbling errands as corporations are people too now. last week and trying to get small things gather for my baking for the holiday before the week- I know I cannot save the world and can only end rush, I ran across this gentleman sleeping make a difference in my corner, I am not asking you to consider housing a homeless perat the intersection, both as I was coming and going, I checked to make sure he was breath- son, but perhaps talk to them, and listen, you ing, but you do not wake homeless folks sleep- might widen your own world, or do something ing that hard for more than one reason, not the for your neighbor or family member or just smile at a stranger and mean it ... least of which many are vets. Cars zipping by Perhaps consider donating time, or goods or and even stopping at light, didn't seem to even pocket change to organizations you know pause. I hope others noticed but not so sure. ... please this season consider donating to inI find it ironic the restaurant sign he is under, visible people and Art4TheHomeless ... thru Art use to have, least when I worked there a cou4th Holidays ple of years ago, a cooperate policy of NOT feeding the homeless. I worked the overnight shift and we occasionaSlly discretely bought a ... meal or drink out of our own pockets for one or days_1 two homeless people, in that between time of I hope this Christmas and New Year season after club crowd and early morning breakfast finds you and yours safe warm healthy and folks. Somehow management found out and put a stop to employees feeding the homeless. brings you all that is brightest joyful and loving. Happy Holidays! by the time this column comes out you will be recovering from some wintery weather over the weekend and getting ready for a mid week holiday. I do hope this finds you well warm and with opportunities to celebrate the holidays with good food and good folks, counting your blessings.

li h a t i x a w a W i n y r e l o r f i l u a H C , d t o a Trista o c w e y l u l l o b H n a t i s s e s u W R n y i d g e n e i v n li a m y l o d t c n . n a s e s r d e r n r a p Cu b d s r u o h w . g rt in v o o h l s s r i e a t h s i r t . w ww

r e e h C y a d i l o H As you walk past the towering trees decorated with ribbon and ornaments, all ready to light up the night sky, do you find yourself remembering what this holiday is really about, family and friends? Some people would answer that it is about the perfect tree, the perfect gift or the exclusive get-away. If you chose family and friends, at least you can say you know you’re on the right track. It’s important to remember no matter how many trees you see in shops draped with tinsel, or presents neatly tied walking under arms of men and women, that some people see the holidays as nothing more than a way to ‘up’ their present from last year. Maybe you need to step away from quantifying this year’s holiday and remember the important moments of the year past. Whether it was in the warm or the cold weather, any anger or happiness from losses or gains. Or maybe you don’t want to think of it at all and can ignore this. After all, who can really blame you? The holidays are as much about

remembering as it is about forgetting and forgiving. Either way, try to identify what it is you are feeling when you see the decorations adorning the street lamps. If it is not so jolly, then maybe think of some ways to make this year a little brighter. If you feel jolly, then try to find ways to bring other people into what you are doing, especially those you know had a rough year, since this time of year seems to bring about painful memories and thus should not be spending it alone. So think about inviting over a friend and breaking bread together. After all having some company to curl up by the carolers this holiday is for everyone, from those with the big tree to those without.

y b g n i v i L y r e Thrift d a Q l u d b A a Johnn


s d n e i r F r o f s t f i G y a d i l ee Ho

The Holidays are more a bout spending money than anything–it’s a whole commercial thing. So how do you endure the holidays without going bankrupt? Some people can’t afford to buy gifts. And some, have to budget. Let’s talk about Christmas cards. Working at Target, I’ve seen people spend hundreds on Christmas cards alone– they’ve gone up drastically. So instead of spending $40 on a few cards, take that same $40 and invest in some paints, index cards, and stamps. Grab a few Sharpies too. Making your own cards will not just save you expenses, but it will also give those you love something unique for Christmas–or whatever holiday you are celebrating. And if you have to spend–remember to use coupons and save. Shop you local artists for gifts–we artists can create very special pieces for you. I, for example, paint and I make jewelry. Here are some examples of my works:


The Art4TH Zine December 23rd Edition