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Penticton  

Series of videos on Penticton's homeless shares their struggles

'It wears on your soul'

Contributed

A new series of short films will show the perspective of Penticton's homeless population as part of an anti-stigma campaign sharing real stories of people struggling with housing.

It's called "Displaced: Living in the Shadows," and has been put together by the 100 More Homes organization in partnership with many other local groups.

As they work towards the of goal of ending chronic homelessness, staff from 100 More Homes’ participating organizations (including BC Housing, City of Penticton, Interior Health, United Way British Columbia, SOSBIS and OneSky Community Resources) have been working with the South Okanagan Lived Experience Circle (SOLE) to film the stories in the lead up to Homelessness Action Week, which is October 10 to 16, 2021.

At least 118 individuals are currently experiencing homelessness in Penticton, as of the latest official count. 100 More Homes wants to highlight the challenges those individuals face when trying to survive or escape homelessness, and erase stigmas associated with it.

The series of short videos allow viewers an inside look at homelessness.

Each video shares the story of one person. One of the videos focuses on Tim, who shares that he has been on the streets for over a decade after his family was unable to care for him.

"I've been on the streets 15 years on and off," Tim says, speaking underneath a bridge in Penticton as the wind howls and icy water flows by.

"It's a place you can hide, the city doesn't bother you down here ... It wears on your soul after a while."

Tim shares how his entire life is in a shopping cart that he brings around town. He says he has nowhere to go and he is just trying to survive.

"They bar us out of every doorway, every nook and cranny, they close us off ... they push us out. They're trying to push us out. But you can't push homelessness out, it just goes somewhere else."

In another video, Dorothy shares her story of 12 years of homelessness and trying to scrape together employment.

"Homelessness knows no boundaries. Homelessness can be caused by alcoholism, trauma, every situation is different. For myself, it would have been trauma, multiple traumas," Dorothy says.

"Friends and family, they don't want anything to do with you. And that's hard."

Watch the entire series as it is released here.



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