Tagged: martyshuk housing.

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

This is where I spent most of my time last week.

The big green building is Martyshuk Housing “Loft” where they house some of their clients (who used to be homeless) and above it is the view from the south facing units. Pretty cool view isn’t it?

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  02:15 pm, by briceferre 11  |  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

For the past 5 days now, I’ve been back in Edmonton to work with the incredible people of Martyshuk Housing.

I’ve worked with them several times before and have had a blast every time.

This week was no exception. Once again, I got to spend time with people who are so full of love, warmth and happiness, even if life hasn’t always been so kind to them.

As I have been hanging around the halls with my camera for the past few days now, all of Martyshuk Housing clients know me pretty well. (Either as Brice or “camera guy”) And every time I show up, I am welcomed by big smiles, which make my job pretty sweat and easy I gotta say.

Learn more about what Martyshuk housing does here, we definitely need more people like them in this world…

I am shooting videos this time and you’ll get to see them pretty soon, but in the mean time here are 2 of my buddies.

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  11:13 am, by briceferre 4  |  Comments

This gentleman is one of the many clients of Martyshuk housing.

During one of my many trips to Edmonton, I got to collaborate with the amazing people of Martyshuk Housing.

"Amazing" is actually quite the understatement when you consider what they do:

Martyshuk Housing is a grassroots company with a social mandate to abolish homelessness. Since 2007, they use highly innovative and flexible approaches to provide quality affordable housing and tailored supports to their clients. Their unique business model has effectively housed hundreds of some of the hardest-to-house homeless individuals in Edmonton.

Martyshuk is known for:

♦      Ensuring safe, secure, and clean housing throughout Edmonton.

♦      Responding quickly to house people within hours and days of receiving a referral.

♦      Approaching all clients on and case-by-case basis.

♦      Working without judgment.

♦      Treating people as equals and with unparalleled respect.

♦      Giving people a chance when other programs haven’t.

♦      Having a unique model that is producing results.

Amongst the numerous clients I’ve had lately, Martyshuk is by far one of the most humbling for me. It’s amazing to see people who genuinely care about other human beings, and doing everything in their power to get them out of the streets. Specially when you know how cold Alberta gets in the winter. Nobody should sleep outside by -35°c.

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  01:37 pm, by briceferre 2  |  Comments