Tagged: life.

Last week I spent 3 interesting days in Edmonton.

On Friday I climbed an oil rig for the first time, but Wednesday was another first for me.

I actually walked in on a murder scene (yep, you heard that right) with my fellow friends from Martyshuk housing. Therefore ended up being filmed by CBC (if you watch the first minute of this video, you’ll see me minding my own business, doing what I was there to do, witness and film the everyday life of Martyshuk Housing’s team and their tenants).

Drugs, violence, and unfortunately death, is part of the everyday life for the homeless community of Edmonton (and in all the other big cities of the world). And the more I work with them, the more I learn about it and I realize how the work of Martyshuk Housing is important.

For the past 6 years now, Dave Martyshuk’s team has been working extremely hard,  night and day, with all the agencies and Government departments in charge of taking care of the homelessness situation to house hundreds of people they are working towards eradicating homelessness in Edmonton in the next 5 to 10 years.

This project sounded completely nuts a few years ago, but it is now in full speed and it’s safe to say that if all those incredible folks keep going this way, homelessness might just be a souvenir in 5 to 10 years in Edmonton

In the meantime, even when you are surrounded by drugs, violence and alcohol, at the end of the day, there is always someone there with a big smile on his/her face to make you forget about all this and realize that there is hope.

I made a lot of new friends amongst the Martyshuk Housing tenants, but RJ was by far the happiest to see me film and photograph him. (You have no idea how excited he was about the hockey season finally starting too!)

If you’re in Edmonton, you might see him walking in the streets with his snow shovel, just helping out. If you do, go and say “hi” to him.

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  10:50 am, by briceferre  Comments

When your client asks you to wear a vest like that for your shoot, you know you are about to have an interesting day.

As I knew my mom was not really gonna love the idea of me having to wear a “Stab Vest” to work, I waited a bit before blogging about it. But I am now back in Vancouver so all is well.

This type of vest is what the security men of Martyshuk Housing have to wear to work.

It is designed to stop any punch, knife, baseball bat or crowbar. And it will also keep you seriously warm when you are working by -25 degrees.

Working amongst the homeless community is an incredibly intense and rewarding job, but it has its risks as well. Most of the time Martyshuk Housing tenants are very calm and friendly, but sometimes, people are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and become agitated or violent. That’s why the security team has to wear those vests when they are doing their rounds. Better safe than sorry.

The fact is that a few of the security guards can attest, first hand, that those vest can stop a knife.

Anyway, I flew back to Vancouver last night and I had an absolute blast with Martyshuk Housing’s team. We shot a lot of interviews, security interventions, smiles, tears and various war stories. We’ll start editing this very soon, as I can’t wait to share the footage with you all.

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  04:17 pm, by briceferre 6  |  Comments