Dale began attending Regeneration at the beginning of the summer. I remember our first interaction – he came in with a big cut on his forehead, was visibly dirty, and his clothes didn’t fit well. He was the ‘stereotypical homeless man’. He asked for directions to the local shelter. I explained that he could stay and get breakfast, have a shower, and get some new clothes before heading to the shelter. But he refused – and just wanted the directions. So I gave him a bus ticket to get there, but he refused the bus ticket. He was set on walking.
A few days later he returned for breakfast. He hadn’t made it to the shelter yet.
He settled in to Regeneration quite nicely. He was able to get to the shelter. Dale is a very private guy, and it took awhile for him to open up. But eventually, he opened up about his life. He has 2 children, a girl who lives in Mississauga, and a boy who lives in Brampton. Unfortunately, neither of which are speaking to him right now. He is originally from Bala, ON. He’s worked hard all his life, and was previously a sales manager. He is divorced (they weren’t happy for a long time, but stayed together until the children were older). He is currently on CPP. He hasn’t shared how he became homeless, or how long he has been homeless. Everyday we are learning new things about him as he becomes more comfortable.
Since then he has been in and out of the shelter, sleeping outside or on people’s couches.
A huge concern for Dale was the state of his feet, it was very painful for him to walk. They were swollen and covered in wounds. He connected with the nurse from Street Outreach and met at Regeneration. When she saw his feet, she thought they might be infected and got him a taxi to the hospital. He was back the next day, stating that the hospital told him that he needed to stay off his feet, and there was nothing else that could be done.
A few weeks went by, his feet continued to get worse- he went back to the hospital, and was told the same thing. This happened a third time. He was discouraged by this, and was feeling hopeless.
Dale eventually decided enough was enough, went to the hospital one last time. They finally prescribed him antibiotics, and water pills. They sent him on his way.
His feet are healing and his medication is now done. We continue to see him at Regeneration more often and he is becoming a welcome staple and a thriving member of our community.