Pops

Posted: August 26, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Pops is not his actual name, but anyone who is around our centre will most likely know exactly who i am speaking about. Pops showed up at our door from LA. He some how got through customs into Canada without a passport. Pops was in his late 70’s and was definitely showing signs of dementia. He stayed in our shelter for many months as we tried and tried to find him adequate housing, which is hard when you have no ID. We were attempting to have his birth certificate and SIN card sent to our address, but were held up by “red tape”.

pops and me

One of our supporters took Pops to the local news paper and they decided to write an article about him. This article got a lot of buzz, so much that the minister of health called me and said that they would push his paper work through so we could get him the help that he needed. We were able to eventually find him a nice special care home, where he was excited that he was the only man in a house full of women.

So far this post has been very short, but i have a lot of stories about Pops, when someone stays in your shelter for months on end you are bound to have some good/funny stories. It was never a dull moment with Pops on duty. Because of his age we did not ask him to leave much during the day time, so he had a little desk set up in the middle of our centre, where we would eat meals, read the paper and sing Black eye’d Suzy and many other old time hits. During his stay the season had turned to winter which made his case even more difficult, he was constantly rude and ignorant to the staff, but we tried our hardest to put up with his antics. I would often look at him and see a cloud of smoke around his head, even as i am writing this i am laughing. I spoke to him and informed him that smoking is not tolerated and if he continued i would have to ask him to leave.  I remember one day while i was on the floor i looked at him as he was bringing a cigarette to his mouth, our eyes met and he then put his arms back down and walked out to our smoking area, his face was priceless.

Whenever he would get upset with me or anyone else, he had a bad temper so he got mad often, he would get cursing and swearing. He had false teeth, but we do not know who’s teeth he had, at a doctor’s visit the doctor informed us that they were not his teeth. It was hard not to laugh some times when his anger rose and his mouth started cursing, because pops teeth looked like they were ready to fall out of his mouth, he was cursing at me faster then anyone has ever cursed at me, but it was so funny.

A special care home works in one of two ways: 

1. The individual has enough money to pay for the home, which is normally anywhere from 1,000-3,000 a month, or

2. You can apply through Social Development, and they will pay whatever the difference is for the cost of the home, and the income you currently have, all your needs are met, and they give you an allowance to buy luxury items.

As we were talking pops about moving into a special care home he did not like the idea that all his money would go to this home. We finally got him to say yes to the home, but he informed us that he may just get a part-time job to supplement his income. We were excited because we could move ahead on setting up appointments and finding him a home to move into. One day while i was working he asked to use the phone, this was uncommon for him because he didn’t really know anyone in town, except his brother who came to visit every so often. So we dialled a number for him and i couldn’t help but over hear his phone call. 

“I’m calling about the job add in the paper, is it still available?” I couldn’t believe what was coming out of his mouth, he can barely walk and control some major bodily functions, but he is asking about a part-time job? The job was taken, but i had a good laugh, his body was old, but his spirit was young. 

I could continue to tell you stories, like when he got up one morning, took his pants off at his bed and urinated on someone’s jacket, but i do not want to keep you. Working in a ministry like this some times God sends people to stretch and remind you why you work in this type of environment. I really do love my job managing this homeless shelter, working in this type of field you need to be selfless as you help to provide for the needs of others.

Looking back to when pops was in our shelter, there were some hard days, but it was worth it when we were able to move him into a beautiful special care home where there seemed to be people who cared, and who would take care of him.

Lord i pray that you renew pops mind, and that he is able to call out to you as his Lord and Saviour. He sat through many bible studies and i know that you planted seeds in his heart. Amen

 

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Comments
  1. ola bourgeois says:

    I remember pops, He was very shaky with his coffee in one hand and holding on to his pants from falling. God sure gave us all a character person to make us humble and test your love of mankind. Good reporting Danny. Chuck and I are proud of you.

    Like

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