Unlike parenthood, where no parent can ever truly prefer one child over another, writing comes with no such taboos. I can thoroughly prefer one piece over another without worrying that I will offend any of my articles. They have no feelings, after all, so it's perfectly acceptable for me to play favorites.
It's been an "on" week for my newspaper column in the London Free Press. The short-form, op-ed format doesn't always allow me to easily personalize my pieces. But I still try whenever I can because I think that's what connects strongly with readers. I published this in today's paper, and I like the feel of the words. I hope you do, too.
We could end up homeless, tooYour turn: How close do you think any one of us is to homelessness? Why does society marginalize the issue?
Published Thursday, August 17, 2006
The London Free Press
By Carmi Levy
Not so many years ago, I stood in a bitterly cold doorway of a men’s mission in a forgotten corner of downtown Montreal, chatting with a gaunt-looking resident named Colin.
I was barely a teenager, working on a university journalism class reporting assignment. I asked how he came to be there. His eyes blazed out of their hollow sockets as he answered.
“I had a wife, a job, a house, a son,” he said. “All the things that most people have, I had, too.”
It started as a small drinking problem that eventually worsened. The job went first. Then his wife and son. Finally, the bank took the house. And Colin took to the streets.
London New Democrat MP and housing critic Irene Mathyssen is calling on federal Human Resources and Social Development Minister Diane Finley to ensure continued funding for London’s homeless. Her appeal comes amidst conflicting reports of federal cuts across the country.
Ottawa would do well to listen to her. Any one of us could be Colin.
One more thing: There's a followup to this entry, posted Friday, August 18. Click here to read it. Thank you all for your thoughtful contributions to this important discussion.