At the DI, the homeless shelter where I work, we have submitted an 'idea' for funding to the AVIVA Community Fund -- a 'who gets the most votes' kind of competition that gives you a chance of winning money to fund a charitable endeavour.
Our medical centre is the foundation of our idea. It sees over 5,000 clients a year, many of them with complex and life-threatening issues. It is not funded by government or any other foundation. We have to raise the funds every year to ensure we can provide clients the well-being and health care they need, and deserve.
Yesterday, to support our bid for the AVIVA fund nomination, I interviewed one of our clients. The nurse who'd arranged for me to sit and chat with Jim didn't tell me any of his circumstances, just replied to my query of whether there was a client who'd be willing to talk about his story with a brief, "Jim will do it."
And that is why I came to be sitting across from a blue eyed man of quiet wit and gentle spirit. That is why tears (always the tears these days) flowed as Jim talked about his journey into homelessness, and into this new dimension of his life.
My words cannot do Jim justice. I'll let him tell you about himself.
And before I do, share Jim's story, if you could take a moment after hearing Jim to visit the AVIVA Community Fund and register to vote and then vote -- every single day until October 19 -- it would be greatly appreciated. And please, Twitter, FB, share the story with everyone you know. Help us keep helping people like Jim to live the life they have with dignity and respect. Please, encourage everyone to vote -- you don't have to live in Calgary, Alberta, or Canada. You just have to care to offer your support.