‘My mother stopped feeding me’
I grew up in Rockwood, Ontario and left home at 15. I am on ODSP and struggle with anxiety. My mom just stopped feeding me. One day, the day I finally left, she threw my food to the dogs.
Mom basically ignored me. She spent all her time with her boyfriend, and they would never talk to me. I wasn’t allowed to leave my room, and when I did they grounded me. My teachers tried to help. They put me in a group home, but I couldn’t afford the rent. Then, I was forced into the shelter and lived there for two years. I live on the street now, as it is easier. Toronto is kinder than some cities. Some cities actually ticket you for sleeping outside. Easier to get food and help here too.
I sleep on a heat vent downtown. Shelters are not cool. Things go missing, and other stuff. Some nights, I try to sleep inside, like in the PATH. Security tells me to move. I make about $200 a week begging.
To be honest, it living is not that hard on the streets in Toronto, except for the cold months of the year, and always having to move because some security guy or cop hassles you to move on. Being homeless, you are invisible. People ignore you. They treat you wrong because they don’t like seeing us on the street. I feel people resent us, and think we are all bums or addicts. I go to school, and do normal things. I just don’t have a home. Most people ignore you.