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Originally born in the interior British Columbia, Simon made the treacherous 14-hour journey to Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) where he calls home now. Just like many of the residents on the DTES, Simon fell into drug addiction early on in his youth. The negative effects of heroin spread like wildfire as Simon’s physical, mental and financial situation deteriorated. Simon made numerous attempts to get clean from heroin. While some of the recovery programs did kept him clean for months, his strained relationship with his former girlfriend lead to him relapsing on heroin.

Simon originally had a construction job and was able to support himself. However, the numerous fights Simon participated left him injured. In the aftermath of one of those brutal fights Simon was left with a broken jaw that rendered him unable to wear a hardhat. Due to not being able to comply with the company’s safety standards, Simon was let go of his construction job which rendered him unemployed. As of today, Simon worked as a street vendor selling variety of clothing and accessories that kept him afloat.

Simon was particularly vocal about the housing crisis in DTES. He believes that the British Columbia government has neglected the issue and should impose policies to address the situation. Simon also wishes that he can one day escape the situation he’s currently in and live a more comfortable life. He also wants to remind students and youth to remain in school so they will not end up like him.

©2020 by Humanitarian Organization for Providing Empowerment. 

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