Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It is done.

This book, WHERE, that we have been writing and creating for the past seven months. A simple idea that has grown and shifted and changed and become this piece of history of which we are very proud.

I took it to the printer yesterday. The print proofs signed off. Minor changes marked for the last time.

It is done.

And all is well.

And now, the planning begins in ernest for the launch. Just three weeks away, May 4.

We'll be having an exhibit of the photographs. Inviting special guests to an event that will also see the documentary we created a year ago on our recording of Ben E. King's, Stand by Me.

It is a celebration. And because it is a celebration, I am sharing with you the final word of the book:


Homelessness is a world of darkness pulling those walking our streets under; despair, desperation, loneliness, confusion, fear, they lurk like dealers hanging out on street corners waiting to drag each person down. Homelessness is a world of darkness and of light. It is a world filled with compassionate and caring people -- on both sides of the street. It is a world where every human life holds the possibility of more, of other than the darkness of living on the street.

The street is the microcosm of the macrocosm of our world. On the street, disharmony,
disorderly conduct, despair mirror the disharmony,disorderly conduct, despair in our greater world –disharmony and despair we often try to ignore or pretend does not exist as we close our eyes to the darkness of the street.

The darkness is not the opposite of light. Homelessness is not the opposite of home. Darkness is the absence of light. Homelessness is the absence of home.

What happens on the street is not an aberration from life, it is life. It’s life as we never want to see it yet, it exists in the lives of thousands of Calgarians every day.

For fifty years, at the DI, we have celebrated life, in all its complexities. Every day, we celebrate people. We celebrate the small steps of an addict staying clean for one day, the big leaps of a drop-out going back to school, the giant bounds of a street worker leaving the life behind. We celebrate people’s arrivals and departures. We celebrate smiles and hugs and sadness and joy. We celebrate no matter the times because every life is precious, every life counts.

We are grateful for being able to count on so many people over the past fifty years as we work to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Thank you. We are grateful for your presence and look forward to continuing this journey of ending homelessness with you, in this place Where People Matter.


Vivek Chamoli said...

Hi Louise,

That is amazing , Wow ..congrats and all the best for the Launch and its preparation.

I will look forward to get one .. :)

take care.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited for you...You tell amazing stories, I'm sure all will go well.

Maureen said...

Congratulations and hugs all around! May the book shine a light that brings others forward to help end homelessness.

L.L. Barkat said...

The work towards providing a home: it is beautiful, it is a most basic gift.

Anonymous said...

Celebration, indeed! Congratulations on getting the book out/done/completed/fini. It will do brilliantly, as the people behind it. Another great project to help enlighten the unenlightened.

You make me proud.


Elizabeth Young said...

Congratulations on seeing this labour of love through to fruition, an amazing achievement!
I am reminded of Elie Wiesel saying of his slim volume 'Night,' "If I could only write one book, this would be it." This is YOUR book. WELL DONE!!

thelmaz said...

Beautiful post. Congratulations on the book. What a great celebration!

Ruth said...

Oh congratulations, Louise! What an accomplishment and celebration of life. I have already learned much from you here from your work and words about the homeless, and the misconceptions I have. I have been talking about it with my husband. This is very important work you do, and the book looks beautiful. May it open hearts and minds to the real and present ones in our population who are so misunderstood. Thank you!