Monday, January 22, 2007

Finally warm

I have now recovered enough from my brief sojourn into the world of homelessness to be able to write once again. The 24 hours of homelessness event went extremely well. For the homeless, not for me. We managed to raise $5,600 dollars in the first day alone. The goal, over the next 35 days, is to raise $50,000 for Operation Go Home, so we're off to a good start.

I was sleeping outside near Rideau street with Chris Day of CTV and Mike Hamilton, who works for Capcorp, and is on the board of directors for Operation Go Home. I had been up since 3 a.m., so of course I was the first to go to sleep. At 2:00 a.m. The snow started at 2:30. Of course, the other two guys were still awake, and were able to fashion an igloo of sorts out of some big boxes and a blanket. Leaving me, of course, completely uncovered for the night.

I woke up with two inches of snow on my face, at around 4:00. I could not for the life of me go back to sleep, so I was left to freeze and wait for Doc and Woody to phone when the show started. By the time I left, I was chilled right through to the bone. It's amazing when I think of how unpleasant it was for me, when I had to do it for only one day. That way, there's an end in sight. But to think that some of these children don't know from one night to the next if they will be sleeping on the street or in an apartment.

The kids get apartments from time to time, and when one of them does, dozens of others will show up in the winter to crash on their florr, since at least it's warm. But when that option is not available, it's pretty much the street. 15 and 16 year olds don't go to the Salvation Army shelter or the Mission. It is not a good place for the younger ones. So they sleep on the street, risking the weather, and the violence that recently claimed a young man named Cactus, one of their own. The Operation Go Home drop-in centre has been re-named in his honour.

Over the weekend, I was doing live commercials at the Embassy West hotel and at Audiotronic on Merivale, and some generous listeners came by to donate even more money to the cause of Operation Go Home. Every donation is very much appreciated, and I will be dropping the money off this week. Any more donations can be made at

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