When Barry was in Windsor last it was on vacation visiting his brother in Amhurstburg. That was somewhere in the late 1990s. He was a Plumber Gas Fitter living in Alberta, times were good, money was flowing. In fact, Barry says that his biggest worry was not money at all but all of the overtime that comes with a bustling city and a skilled trade such as his. He was helping to raise his three children, sporting events, coaching baseball running to dance recitals, paying bills, week end BBQ’s with the neighbours, Saturday pool league. In general he was living a similar life to many of us. He was until one fateful day in 2005 when he suffered a massive stroke. “How could this be happening to me”? “What had I done to deserve this”? Barry’s life he tells me changed in an instant.

Paralysed on his right side, he could not work, in fact he could not walk, feed himself or even just button up his own shirt. Life had changed, and it would never be the same again.

His new reality was one of chronic back pain, wheelchair bound, appointment after appointment all aimed at helping him “recover”. Barry became reliant and eventually addicted to prescribed medications. In an effort to ease pain, he began to double up on his allowable daily dosage. From there things got worse.

Sanctuary

Barry decided to move to Essex County to be closer to his family. A decision that he does not regret but unfortunately this family is unable to provide the kind of help that Barry now requires. Moving from one bed bug infested apartment to another grew tiring for Barry a slight man in his early fifties, bent from time, and crippled by that horrible stroke. Barry reached out for help and was placed in an area rest home. However, his addictions and the lifestyle that encompasses it was not conducive to rest home living.

Barry found himself alone and living on the street. Barry found himself a once working contributing member of society… Homeless and dependant on the Mission.

Barry, has been pushed around in a system not really working for the marginalized such as him. Homeless, he lost his pension with out a legal address he no longer qualified. He tells us that he had reached out for help, hospitals, social workers, anyone who would listen. Many attempted to help Barry he is quick to point out, grateful for their attempts. He reports that he once went to hospital for help to kick his addiction and instead was given a prescription for more of the very same pill he was trying to escape from.

“Barry found himself alone and living on the street. Barry found himself a once working contributing member of society… Homeless and dependant on the Mission.”

The good news… Barry reached out to the Mission, staff here heard his plee, and with the help of outside agencies have helped Barry to start the healing process. Now working on permanent housing he is off the street and looking forward again to the future.

Barry, gave us permission to run his story, his only request was that we be sure to thank YOU. Yes, he is aware that the Mission exist solely by the gifts we receive from those that reach out and donate to us. Time, talent or treasure what ever you help us with, it’s important to Barry and to others like him. He also, wants to thank the staff at the Mission especially those special folks who work the midnight shift, who always went out of their way to help him, up and off the floor and eventually into a home of his own.


You can help us make a difference in the lives of people like Barry. Get involved with the DTM today!

“The good news… Barry reached out to the Mission, staff here heard his plee, and with the help of outside agencies have helped Barry to start the healing process. Now working on permanent housing he is off the street and looking forward again to the future. ”