A Great Experience at the Accueil Bonneau

by catherinegamache on May 4, 2016 - 4:30pm

Throughout the semester I chose to concentrate my writing and blog post on homelessness. I chose this subject because I am very concerned about people’s well-being and even more about vulnerable persons’ well-being. Homelessness is a topic that really affects me because a member of my family encountered some difficulties linked to homelessness. When he first started his company, he borrowed a lot of money from the bank and had many debts. At the begging his company did not work really well so, he did not have enough money to pay off all of his debts. Due to the fact that he was low on cash, he lived on a friend’s couch and had recourse to food aid. Later on, his company began to be more popular and therefore to generate more profits. This period was very difficult for him but fortunately he succeeded and now lives a prosperous life. However, not everyone recovers and is able to change his life around. Some people would have stayed on a friend’s couch and eventually be kicked out due to their lack of money. Without nowhere else to live, they would be forced to live on the streets. As you can observe, I am really affected by this subject and that is why I chose to base by posts on it.

Throughout the semester I read many articles about homelessness and more importantly about homeless deaths and mortality rates. For example in an article I wrote titles “Preventable Deaths”, it is stated that in British Columbia homeless deaths have increased of 70% since 2013. Also, in my other article titled “Mortality Among Homeless People”, it is mentioned that Housing First people mortality rates are higher than those of the “general homeless population”. Housing First, similarly to the Accueil Bonneau, is an approach that focuses on ending homelessness by providing housing and services to the people in need. The causes of deaths of the HF participants were mostly cancer and natural deaths. Organisms like HF and Accueil Bonneau cannot explicitly prevent mortality but they surely help the homeless people by offering them housing and services such as food and clothing.

For my part, on April 8th, I went to donate some time at the Accueil Bonneau. I chose this particular non-profit organization because I wanted to meet and talk to the people who frequent the organization, to help them and to see the reality/life of these people. Moreover, I think that the goal of the organization is very noble (to guide the homeless people into the right path and contribute to their rehabilitation and the exercise of citizenship). At my arrival, I first began by washing some fruits and vegetables. Soon after, the homeless people slowly began to arrive so I took place at my assigned station. I was responsible for the “drinks section”. My task was to distribute Cola and coffee to the organization’s visitors. My first impressions were that some of the people did not “look” like typical homeless people. I even saw a man who was wearing a tuxedo and another one who was carrying an Iphone 6+. Furthermore, I found that most of them were very friendly and also very thankful of the service that we gave. For example, after I gave them a drink, most of them would thank me and wish me a good day. Also, most of them were calm while a minority looked on drugs and were agitated. There is a lot more people who live in street than we think and some of them really want to start a new life but there are only few program/organizations that can help them with their goal.

In conclusion, I very much liked my experience that the Accueil Bonneau. I felt like I was really helping them. However, not enough people think like I do; not enough people pay attention to them and are willing to help through little actions such as giving a small amount of money, donating some food or clothing and doing volunteer work in organisms related to homelessness. Finally, I believe that homelessness is a serious social problem and everyone should contribute to end it once and for all.

Here is a link to a visual representation of this text: https://prezi.com/c1odstcfmbel/present/?auth_key=0xjhmon&follow=g-0eeiv-...

Link to my article "Preventable Deaths": http://newsactivist.com/en/news-summary/champlain-college-2016-newsactiv...

Link to my article "Mortality Among Homeless People": http://newsactivist.com/en/news-summary/champlain-college-2016-newsactiv...


Really nice work!
I have an uncle who was in a same situation of the member of your family. Homelessness is an issue that I am concerned of. I wrote articles on multiculturalism and in a way, your work relates to mine in terms of helping each others. I think that what you did is very effective because you had direct contact with those people in need. I found i site that could help people give a impact on this without having to do as much work as you did. It is simple, 35 ways to help the homeless. Here is the link: https://www.justgive.org/donations/help-homeless.jsp