By: George Sun.
Canada is known for its diverse community. Each year thousands of people from vastly different backgrounds find refuge in this country I call home. Canada encapsulates a wide spectrum of people. If you were to walk down a road in Vancouver, you would see the multitude of skyrises, condos, restaurants on every block you turn, and people with smiles on their faces. But obscured by these buildings, and hidden behind the seemingly perfect lifestyles, is the prevalent homelessness crisis.
Vancouver is home to over 600,000 people, and is advancing as both an industrial and technological powerhouse. With these improvements, housing in Vancouver has gotten more expensive, increasing by more than 15% in 2021 alone (Chan, 2021). As a result, the homelessness crisis has exacerbated, with over 2000 people living on the streets every day. The housing units several blocks away from my home, shelters in the East side, and the low-cost resources offered on a weekly basis, are a few measures aimed at ameliorating this current situation. Despite this, these campaigns have been largely inconsequential, seeing the numbers have only climbed. What concerns me the most is the attitude towards others simply because of their indifferences.
The time I spent at the soup kitchen was short, but what I learned was invaluable. Behind each wrinkle and smile, I felt a warm heart from everybody I met. In each conversation I had with the homeless, I learned their stories: regrets, and sorrows, to triumphs, and success. I realized that despite their appearance, background and belief, all of them had a longing to better this world we live in. That morning, as I offered a care package to everyone leaving, I saw each person departing with a new face – a face knowing that behind the indifference, there is hospitality.