Street Dwellers - Part Two | 26th July 2011 | 16:02 PDT

They're seemingly everywhere, roaming the landscape mentally lost without purpose other than to share their thoughts to the world. They stomp around with a face of fire, shout at you for standing on the street, run around coffee shops and letting the whole world know their feelings about you at great volume, stand in the street with glazed over eyes pointing in two opposite directions singing a song about a jumbo jet landing, or at least that's what it sounded like or accuse you of fucking dogs. I am of course talking about the latest residents that share the streets with everyone else, the insane.


I lost my patience with them recently (probably unfairly, as they can't really help having a mental unbalance – but they could try, at least) as I was sitting in a coffee shop looking out idly in middle-distance with a gormless expression on my face, I was half noticing this loud chatty man from outside that had been harassing tourists outside about ice cream (as they were in possession of ice cream) after he was done ruining their vacation, he clocked me through the window, oh crap.

He storms through the glass doors and walks straight by me and proceeded to shout in a loud volume at some boxes and then at a chair about ice cream (as they weren't in possession of ice cream) before leaving through a side door, stomping around back to the front door to repeat the process, like a deranged deja vu. Stormy McFlurry Stompington leaves again and wanders off down the street.

I leave the coffee shop a few hours later and stand to one side as I look at my phone upon exiting, and he appears from nowhere. This time though, a different guy with a face of a vomiting volcano stares me dead in the eyes and half shouts, half spits at me about how I was in his way of looking into a bin and few words later Shouty StHelen Trashington marches off down the street overlooking his shoulder to share his 4 letter words of thoughts with me.


This is the fault of Vancouver, it takes money, quite a lot of it, to prepare for the Olympics and in order to raise the funds to have a lovely little folly for two weeks, the budget had to come from somewhere, in its infinite wisdom the suits decided that the health system was the best place to obtain these funds, verdict made and in process.

What happened was mental health hospitals around the city that were looking after these people and giving them the care they need and keeping them at bay, led all the patients outside (probably with a party bag, with some cake, a balloon and a toy) and kind of said “Good luck and goodbye” and the hospital locked their doors forever.

Known as North Hollywood, walking around, it does sometimes feel like being on the set of Batman Begins, when The Scarecrow develops a fear-inducing toxins and releases release all the inmates at Arkham Prison and unleashes the toxin onto Gotham City's residence.

These people dazed and confused took refuge on the streets and like the homeless, eventually come to rest on Vancouver's East Hastings Street, where they reside indefinitely. The homeless count is hovering around 3000 people in  Vancouver, I'm guessing around a quarter to a third of those need psychological care. I don't know what the city is doing to solve this particular issue.

UPDATE: It turns out the extra money saved from this action, was put towards helicoptering fresh snow from elsewhere as there wasn't enough on the mountains that year.

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