“I got involved with Megaphone because I needed to make some extra money. I live across the street from the office, saw the sign and thought, ‘Other people are doing it, I can do it, too.’ So I tried it and it’s been great, and given me some great opportunities.
“I like getting out and meeting people. The money helps, and [selling] really helps the confidence, but I also like the weather and the sunshine and putting a smile on people’s face.
“Megaphone has published a few of my poems and it gave me more confidence—now I get to say that I have something printed in here. It means a lot to be published. My kids think it’s cool. It’s my little 15 seconds of fame.
“I’m originally from New Brunswick and I first came here in 1976. I used to come out here every summer and stay in the West End. I came out here for a final visit in 1989 and I decided that I would stay. I’ve lived all over the whole Lower Mainland. I’ve been married and I have two children, who both live in Surrey.
“I like to volunteer. I like to help out. I’ve been on disability for quite some time and that makes it hard for me to get around at times. But I get by, its one day at a time—I live for today and always know there will be a tomorrow.
“I came to the Downtown Eastside when I was homeless and living in a shelter. I lost my other home because you don’t always fit in. I didn’t fit into that household and they decided to lock the doors and throw away the key.
“The Downtown Eastside is a good place. There are a lot of things that I would like to change around here, but it’s not me that’s going to change it, it’s going to be everyone working together and making positive change. And Megaphone has done that for me—it’s made some positives in my life.”
Charlize Gordon sells Megaphone outside Woodward's on West Hastings.