"I grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland. I’ve been out here for 30 years, worked for the railroad for 20 years. I got injured, but was denied compensation because of my medical issues. They can pick on people like me because I’m really sick and I can’t fight them."
I moved into BC housing, but I just got sicker with all the chemicals and pesticides. Because of all that, I’ve been homeless for a long time. It’s very hard because people don’t understand my health sensitivities and there’s no support for environmental illness in Vancouver."
Being homeless just sucks. It’s a vicious cycle and I feel like a mouse trapped in a spinning wheel that just goes on and on and nobody can stop it. I don’t think shelters are doing enough because they got a 30-day limit. I go to shelters, I bring up issues about cleaners or perfumes and they don’t know what to make of me. I have a hard time being with people, especially in a room where other people are wearing stuff that bothers me."
My environmental illness impacts me in a lot of ways. I can’t follow through with a lot of things. I try to get projects happening but they just go on the shelf, whether it’s just a long bus ride to get something done. So this affects everything that I’m doing."
Being a Megaphone vendor gives me an option to work. Because of my illness, I can’t hold down a job in a factory or anything. Selling the magazine and being outside is the ideal situation for me so. I also like that I have the opportunity to write in the magazine as well. I have an ambition to write, so I fit with Megaphone and its vision."
We should be working on a solution to homelessness instead of band-aids. Pretty soon we’re gonna run out of band-aids. I think container homes are the way to go."
For environmental illness, it’s education that’s needed. I hope that we pay attention to others with fragrances and use safe cleaners. People need to know that these chemicals are leading to other to medical issues for people."
Ron sells Megaphone at the corner at Cambie and Broadway.