“I was on the streets for 15 years.” Sharon and I met at the Friday drop-in for street-involved women at All Saints Church – Community Centre. “I used to come to the church every day to sleep during the daytime. Now I come for church on Sunday and to the drop-in on Fridays. I’m an addict and not the nicest person to be around when I’m on drugs or just coming off being high. But the people here, they understand. Barb (Barbara Todd, the women’s drop-in coordinator) is a very special lady. I came here one time when I was so sick, I almost died. I did die. They got me to the hospital and I was on life support for three weeks. When I woke up I was mad because I figured, I’m an addict, it’s my time to go. But since that time, I’ve stayed clean and I’m pretty sure that I’m done (with drugs) this time. I have four kids and I want to see them but I can’t see them if I’m on crack. I signed up for a treatment program in October and I’m still waiting to hear. It seems like forever.”
I asked Barb what she wished for the New Year and she started to cry. “This is a very hard time for me. All I want is to be with my kids and I can’t. I don’t want to talk about it.” I saw her pain and asked if I could give her a hug. Then I told her that my New Year wish for her is that she will get into the treatment program and be able to stay away from drugs so that she and her family will be reunited. She hugged me again and then she was off.