“It was a registered nurse who gave me the name. I had the quirks and the personalities of a cricket. I was 14 years old.” 

“I found myself on the streets after I had gotten into an injury. An accident happened in 2010. I ended up having to quit my job. I’ve been coming to homeless shelters and places that help the needy ever since my accident.” The accident caused injury to Krikket’s stomach, skull, and back. But he did not receive compensation for his injuries until this year – 11 years later. “I couldn’t pay rent or anything like that after I quit my job. I started couch surfing and then being out on the streets.” 

It was hard for Krikket to find a job after the accident because of his injuries. He still has mobility issues, which has exacerbated his struggles on the streets. When asked how it has been for him living on the streets, Krikket replied, “Stressful. Strenuous. It has been a lot of arguments. There’s been couch surfing. I’ve been kicked out of different locations. And then being in tent city…but then being asked to move along. And there’s not a lot of room for my belongings. I had everything packed in a backpack and that was about it.”  

Krikket talked about how the police would come to tent city regularly to break up the encampment. “There was a lot of people there who were my street family. Not only did I have street family, but I had biological family on the street.”  

When asked what kinds of barriers and obstacles he has faced in obtaining services and supports, Krikket replied, “I’m not sure. I signed up for all kinds of housing programs, but they said I was not that much of a risk, even though I was staying at overflows in the shelters. On the list of at-risk needy for housing, I’m still on the wait list for 3-4 years. It’s not a matter of weeks or months. It’s a matter of years. I’ve been on OW this whole time. They were saying to me – when I was put on OW – that this is not long term. It’s supposed to be short term. But it took 11 years on OW to get on ODSP. So low income assistance…it doesn’t give much for places I can rent. The cost of living was way more than I could afford. OW gives you $636 a month.” 

Recently, the hospital found Krikket a room to rent. But this room has taken a long time to secure. Krikket has been on the streets for 9 and a half years. 

“It’s only been this year since things have been solidified. I’m off the streets. Getting hospital care. I finally got my ODSP after 11 years of applications for brain injury and back problems. I had been admitted into hospital – the psychiatric ward – to get the ODSP. They wouldn’t let me out of the hospital until I got stable housing and financial assistance. That happened this past winter. Finally I won’t be staying at Tim Hortons during the winter time. I will have my own apartment.”  

“I started certain successes this past year. I’ve been an electrical technician engineer. I was hoping to get back to working full-time with ODSP helping me out. It’s a new year for me. It’s a very different year. I won’t be getting frost bite this year or out in the rainstorms as much as I was in the past. I used to get caught sleeping in Tim Hortons quite often, and night shift would threaten to kick me out because I was sleeping. It’s been a lot of hardships. But I don’t want to share all that. I want to share the positives.” 

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