Doug Allen reflects on leaving homelessness and breaking stigma
Looking to the future
“My wishes for 2017 are that I sell more Megaphone! It keeps me active, I don’t sit around. I was homeless for quite a while, and now I have a place and it keeps me out and about, selling the paper and calendars. In my spare time I watch TV, anything with rock ’n’ roll and violence.
“To tackle homelessness, the government has to address it. They have to step up to the plate. I was out there for 10 months due to a fire where I was living, not that I screwed up anyhow. And everybody seemed to pass the buck onto somebody else, and I was left in a pile with people facing different issues, and they don’t know how to sort you out and there was no place for me. One person became active and they were a great help, that’s Pacifica Housing, my worker was Brooke.
“She’s really outstanding. Other than that I would still be out there, in shelters and all the rest of it, in a dangerous place.
In the next year I hope more people buy Megaphone, it’s catching on, it’s been in the newspaper and on TV I believe.
I worked for Street Newz for 10 years as a vendor, it’s not the same things but people like it. I don’t have any fears for 2017—bring it on. This time next year, I would like to be in Florida, or South America. Somewhere south of the border.
“My message to street paper readers for the new year is just try to understand where people are coming from. A lot of people think that you’re panhandling and different things, and it’s a grind sometimes standing out there in the weather. People seem to understand it that are interested in the street issues, but a lot of people turn a blind eye and blame it on the individual for being homeless.”
Doug Allen sells Megaphone on Fort Street and Blanchard in Victoria. Photo by Priyanka Roy.