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By A Poem by Jenna Goldsack, Introduction by Rick Vandekieft

In a recent article in the London Free Press, it was reported that Toronto’s Daily Break Food Bank has had an almost eight percent decline in numbers so far this year. Good news? Certainly, anytime there is a decrease in need, it is very good news and the hopes are that the need continues to decrease till one day, maybe there is no longer a need. Here in London, the various agencies and ministries working to help those in need are not witnessing the lower needs as seen in Toronto.

For example, in the first 4 months of 2018, the London food bank had 13,388 visits which, according to Glen Pearson the co-director of the Food Bank, is about equal to the same period last year. The numbers are not dropping. On a Saturday last month St Vincent de Paul hosted a BBQ luncheon for the street people in the parking lot of the St Vincent de Paul Store on York St. We serviced several hundred people and, sadly, some were families with kids.

The St Vincent de Paul store parking lot is actually located directly under the Adelaide St. overpass and while I have been to the store many times, I saw something that I had missed in all my previous visits.

On the opposite side of the York St, under the bridge is the home of a number of the downtown homeless. They have constructed a semi-permanent encampment using a combination of wood, carboard and cloth………The residents say it’s OK. In last month’s edition we featured a story entitled, The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul London Youth Conference we shared with you some of the wonderful youth activities of this ministry. These kids care and want to do what they can to help those less fortunate.

Here is a poem written by Jenna Goldsack, one of these very caring young people. She passes by on York Street and the Adelaide St bridge every day on her way to school and this is her thoughts on one of the “under the bridge” residents……


By: Jenna Goldsack

I see him each day,
as I head off to school.
He holds a sign,
Sometimes life can be cruel.

“Homeless, please help”
I try not to stare.
Cold and hungry,
It doesn’t seem fair.

How does he live?
Where is his home?
Does he have a family?
He seems all alone.

A cardboard box,
A blanket or two
He needs some coins,
I can spare a few.

I want to help,
but what can I do?
I have a home
and lots of love too.

A home is much more
than a roof and some walls.
A home is a place
where family can call.

Love, support and
friendship is there.
When you’re sad or afraid,
There’s always someone who cares.

If I had the means,
I’d build a house for this man.
I would do my part,
just like everyone can.

He would finally feel safe,
No more streets he would roam.
He would have love,
He would know home.