Being homeless in Charlottetown is like being 'part of the wall'

Jocelyn Claybourne
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Eddy Keffe, 23, has been homeless for about a year.

A part of the wall.

This is what being homeless in Charlottetown feels like for 23-year-old Eddy Keffe.

For a year he’s been homeless, unable to find a job without a home address and unable to pay for a place to stay without a job. So he panhandles for money.

One day this week, he was found outside of Shoppers Drug Mart in downtown Charlottetown hoping to make $20 for a place to stay.

He rents a boarding room from a friend, someone he met while panning a few months earlier.

His friend lives at his new girlfriend’s house, so he charges $20 a night for Keffe to rest his head.

But, there’s a risk.

The government still pays for the room and if Keffe is caught sleeping there, his friend will lose it.

After spending four hours outside, Keffe made about $10 to $15 and bought himself a meal.

He doesn’t usually pan outside of Shoppers, his main spot is the Stratford Bridge, but today he said his feet were too sore to make the extra trip, so he sat upon a crate and held a sign reading “need $20 4 a place 2 sleep. Anything helps.”

There’s a lot of different kinds of people that pass by him each day, some are generous and other’s definitely aren’t, said Keffe.

“Some people ignore me and pretend I’m a part of the wall.”

This summer, Keffe had someone walk by him and throw a bottle full of urine at him.

But they aren’t all bad, said Keffe.

“I was renting a room off someone for $60 a week and someone gave me $240, enough for a month’s rent. He just randomly found out how much I needed.”

Keffe likes to stay away from judgment, both on him and the people that pass him on the street.

“I could have more money in my dish than they do in their whole bank account, I don’t know,” said Keffe.

People assuming he’s a crack addict just because of his situation makes him upset.

“Why would I judge them if I don’t want them to judge me.”

During the winter Keffe struggled with the cold weather.

“Some days it was really, really, really bad… But you gotta do what you gotta do.”

Keffe makes use of local shelters, as much as he can anyway. The last time he used the shelter he stayed for a month and a half. Now, a person can only stay a few nights a week, Keffe said he heard from a friend.

“The rest of the nights is just, I guess, they don’t really care.”

It’s a good service to have, but the management needs to work on how they’re running it, said Keffe.

“There’s downfalls and stuff but you had a place to stay until you could get up on your feet. Now it’s basically they give you a couple days to a week and then they’re like, “OK, too bad, you’re not on your feet, I don’t care, go fall on your face.”

Organizations: Shoppers Drug Mart

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • kellie hastings
    December 27, 2013 - 23:57

    When no one hires you without an address and no one rents to you without a job, how does one do either when each contradicts the other????...... Any solutions,,,yes do what you can to live...... To many value and only see the biggest and most ugliest LIE,,,,LIFE CAN EVER BE ENSLAVED TO,,,,MONEY..... Life doesn't seem to them to be anything, as if they have no heart,,,,just an ugly head for their money.. If we lived ,,,just lived freely without the need for this hidden evil,,,called money,,,we would be happier, healthier and the world would be rid of all the ugly that money causes.. So what or who would you help or save,,,,life itself,,,or that thing damned by evil itself,,,,Money?? *****If you believe in money, law, rule and order over Life itself and how Life lives and grows,,,then deep down inside you is an ugly seed called evil,,,growing**** ******If you believe in Life, love, truth, freedom to live how we choose and worlds,,,then you have love in your heart and in your actions..***** Living in Freedom, there's no such thing as money Living in Money, there's no such thing as Freedom

  • Marilyn
    April 09, 2013 - 13:25

    Mail - general delivery, post office box, friend or relative. phone - pay as you go or payphone. He can call the employer to check. He has no pride in himself as he is a beggar. He has been offered food, drink and work. If he doesn't want it then its his problem not anyone else's. As for addictions. They aren't free are they? If someone wants to give their money to him who cares. However if I don't want to support him and his addictions then that is my prerogative to ignore him. As for judging him and his lifestyle the second he asks me for money then that is the second I have the right to judge him and his lifestyle. He is not offering me anything but he is certainly asking me to provide for him when he has his hand out. If he doesn't have food and shelter this guy will certainly start looking for a job as he isn't going to let himself just lay there and die. He wouldn't be begging to start off with if there weren't plenty of people willing to hand him their cash. Hey I will put a large can in front of CT and will you please stop and donate? People have offered work and food and he has turned them down. So hows about the people who need help and are willing to give him money, meals or a place to stay or even a job. Why don't you do it publicly and see what he does? That way everyone will know his true situation won't they? As for some of these panhandlers, some of them have better clothes and shoes than I do. Also I pay taxes and the hst while this fella does nothing and pays nothing. Sorry but if he wants to eat he should get a job like the rest of his peers who work hard at low paying jobs. It is the Island after all. You want to be as free as a bird then you got eat whatever you can find like the birds. It is all up to you Bud cause it sure isn't up to me. The world and in particular the Island doesn't owe you a living!

  • Sandra
    April 09, 2013 - 12:22 his friend Kelson Jamieson (these two are always together) is the one who ripped off the hero in Cornwall that rented him a room for the night at the Delta. these people are a waste of time ..he is a mooch who will steal the eyes out of your head if it got him high

  • local
    April 09, 2013 - 12:00

    He could be getting free board n food. Anyone recall seeing a story in the paper about a robbery at a soap shop called moon snails or something like that "red haired eddy" hellooo!!!

  • Happy
    April 09, 2013 - 11:13

    I have been where this guy is and now am a productive working, contributing member of society. I was able to make these changes because i had a lot of support, a family that loved me, community programs, etc..and because i wanted to and was ready..when you really want to make the change the resources are out there! but.....i do sympathize with this guy because when you are ready its sometimes hard to get started unless you have someone willing to give you a hand to get you decide your ready to work but when your going to a job interview in dirty clothes cause you dont have a cheque yet to go to the dont have a drive find a affordable place to live but cant pay the deposit and first rent at once..sometimes you need a fill out an applicaton but you dont have a phone for someone to contact you for an can be overwhelming. I have been there but I did make it out when I was ready

  • Attention all bleeding hearts
    April 09, 2013 - 07:38

    Why don't all you sanctimonious people get together and open a trust fund for poor Eddie and take turns letting him sleep in your homes. It is easy to do, just go visit him at his stoop and invite him home. If he is still at his stoop next week it proves that you people are all talk. Time to put up or shut up.

  • captain canuck
    April 08, 2013 - 16:49

    I was brought up in a good home. I see Jesus when I see this man. "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me". Karma. That's what Jesus taught: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" in His words. In what kind of home were you brought up? This man's addictions and inability to keep a job do not make him disposable. Do you all think he deserves death? What then? I pray for all of you before I pray for him. From what I can tell, he doesn't need it as much.

    • d
      April 09, 2013 - 13:38

      where was jesus when father george smith was up to no good, maybe go give this man your money instead of the good church cuz your money' isn't going to help jesus he never existed, bibles plagiarism at it finest.

    • Captain Canuck
      April 09, 2013 - 15:25

      George Smith's predeliction for underage boys does not make it wrong to be nice to each other. If there is no God, same thing goes. By the way, Jesus did exist, whether God does or not. Jesus is a historical person, not just a man of lore.

  • patty cakes
    April 08, 2013 - 14:03

    I have read all the posts here on this page, so many opinions, I guess from so many different life experiences..I am just wondering if this is the guys who ripped off the dentist who paid for a night at the Delta for a homeless and hungry man??? Logic says, if one is motivated, able and willing to work they will. Ask the EI people, hehehehe. Bobertbitz, do you not have a family member who is addicted and homeless, how can you say you would not house or give money to an addicted person, don't you do it regularily for this family member of yours???Sometimes preaching for any purpose helps us to avoid our own stressful issues, its easier to look out than at ourselves..

    • ripped off
      April 08, 2013 - 19:55

      he would have spend the night there thats for sure

  • D
    April 08, 2013 - 12:00

    He obviously likes livening like that, it's his decisions that keep him there wish someone would walk up to me n pass me 240, he might not have crack addictions but Thers this drug called liquor.... Woundefull stuff to ruin lives, he should have tryed weed instead

    • jesse
      April 08, 2013 - 13:27

      keep your head up!

  • P. Mcd
    April 08, 2013 - 10:35

    I went to high school with this fine gentleman. I wouldn't give him a buck. Buy him a meal? Sure. He had major major addiction problems in high school and I doubt they're gone now. We can't give out handouts to those who will just abuse them

  • Dave
    April 08, 2013 - 09:58

    Flip Burgers! Really. Talk about behind the times. I haven't heard that since the 60s. Hey Bill. Have you ever heard of Karma? I hope it doesn't happen,but probably will,but you will be in a bad place some time soon in your life and then maybe you will get the same compation as you give. Remember Bill,what go's around comes around. That is what Karma is.

    • Bill
      April 08, 2013 - 14:14

      Yes, I did hear of "karma", I have also heard of making ones self accountable for ones actions. I have built a very good life out of nothing and if I can do it, anybody can, including this guy. I have done a large number of harsh jobs over the years, and would do it again.

  • Anon
    April 08, 2013 - 09:31

    Think before you speak people. Regardless whether you no him or not you haven't walked in his shoes so no no one here has the right to judge. Yes I do no him and probably better then most of you commenting. He is actually 24 not 23. Yes he could go back to his moms or use her address but she is the one that kicked him out and told him he wasn't welcome there because him and her boyfriend don't get along. None of you are perfect and neither is he and not am I. So you before you start throwing words around learn the facts first. I tried to help him,not money wise but gave him plenty of advice and he did try to make things better for himself but doors keep shutting in his face. I'm not asking you to feel sorry for him but for the love of god stop with all this hate. He's a human being just like you and me. It's people like you that make this world a disgusting place to live in. Not him.

    • LA
      April 09, 2013 - 11:05

      I don't hate him at all. I just don't appreciate being made to feel guilty because I didn't give him money I don't have to give. I don't appreciate his complaining about being treated like "part of the wall" as if we all had some obligation to stop every time we pass him. I don't stop and talk to every other stranger I meet on the sidewalk either. I work full-time to support my own family and half the time I probably have less cash on hand (and a thousand times the debt) that he does. That is all.

  • Too Bad so Sad
    April 08, 2013 - 09:06

    Its kinda of funny, hes not the only person seen begging for money, and they claim they are traveling and have no money, food or home. I asked one girl that was asking for money outside Canadian tire where did she travel from, She said she hiked from BC. I only later found out that she was a student from Colonel Gray high school. Also this same guy is the fellow that stole a case of milk out of the back of the adl truck in front of the confederation court mall. (guess you thought no one seen you). Ive had to work hard all my life for a home, food,etc. its about time we DO turn a blind eye to these bums, as supporting them will only case more of them to do the same, why work for money when you can harass people for there hard earned money. Go offer to buy these people a meal or a coffee and see what they say to you, WE WOULD RATHER THE MONEY, They are a curse on society and maybe the police she start charging them with loitering, after all most of these places that they are hanging out begging for money has signs that say no loitering. So if you see me walk by you that you know why, get a life, get a job and start to contribute to society.

    • d
      April 08, 2013 - 13:47

      He has a job doing what he's doing as i said and he likes it obviously, otherwise he would go out west join the military ect. but they don't pay at least 75 bucks a day for doing nothing now do they and he can't do whatever he wants like he can in the situation he's in now. When are ppl going to realize the homeless are homeless by choice on P.E.I and it could be argued they are the same way across the country not just here, look at all the immigrants around now to fill jobs that guys like eddy are too lazy to do, funny we won't see any of them begging in less of course they wanted to i guess.

    • Tom Bartley
      April 08, 2013 - 14:48

      This is a sad commentary of the negative,and uncaring members of our society.Mans inhumanity to man.I guess many people today care less of their fellow man.To busy being hung up on their own egos.SHAME!

  • ProChoicePEI
    April 08, 2013 - 08:55

    Stories like this often stir up public support for the individuals featured (not that I see much support from you folks, but usually that is the case) but the issue is larger and it's an issue that falls under gov't programs, but what does gov't do? Nothing. Because gov't, our gov't, all gov'ts are bent on letting the public pick up as much slack as possible. A lot of folks want to rush to share what they have, to help folks out (well, not you folks, but usually this is the case). If a citizen helps this man, then gov't doesn't have to. If citizens groups rush to fundraise for whatever the cause, then gov't doesn't have to. This story is like every other story of someone needing something gov't should provide, but gov't has chosen it's not a priority, knowing that the public will swoop in (well perhaps not in this case with you folks but usually that is the response). Homelessness is just another issue gov't has let slip off it's radar in the hopes that the public comes to the rescue (well, not here with .... ah .... nevermind).

    • islandwoman
      April 08, 2013 - 11:04

      Islanders have been supporting this man for over a year while he sits around begging - so I'm not sure why you think he's not getting any support from the public. Not sure why you think the government should be giving him cash but as I'm sure you're aware, the government doesn't have any money except what they get from the public so its really all the same.

  • mike
    April 08, 2013 - 08:33

    At $600 a month couldn't some of these homeless people connect at the shelters they are staying at and pool their money together for a place and some food.

  • Islander
    April 08, 2013 - 07:45

    While I empathize with this guy, I have to wonder why he can't find a job? Why didn't he use his address from the place he stayed for a month and a half to get a job? My family and I moved here 2 years ago from Calgary and we have never been without jobs. Beggers can't be choosers. Clean toilets, pick up trash, flip burgers, DO SOMETHING! My husband and I work extremely hard for our money, often going days only bumping into eachother as we leave the house. Our rule of thumb when giving money to people on the street, you only get it if you are working for it. We will never walk by someone who is playing an instrument or singing or selling something they made - we always give them a little something. If you sit on the side of a street just begging, you aren't getting anything from us.

  • Smokes
    April 08, 2013 - 07:27

    I drove by this mans sign not long ago and it read "need 20 bucks for a pack of smokes"! If you can eat or sleep , maybe you should quit your addictive necessities! Every winter seismic companies in Alberta hire east coasters. They pay for everything to get you to work and meals while your there. You have to be drug free tho!, get off your ass!

  • East of Eden
    April 08, 2013 - 07:08

    Troubling to see the lack of compassion. People quick to judge with the apparent ability to know the whole story after reading a few lines and looking at a picture. Spewing hate against your fellow man while drawing praise to the true evil charlatans of our society.

  • Shawn
    April 08, 2013 - 06:44

    I thought I reconigized the photo, I truly feel bad my heart aches for him. I have passed numerous times and don't get me wrong I want too throw 20$ too help but as a student who is struggling I can't even afford daily nutrition. However, Is there not government services too help people like Eddy? ex; Social Assistance? Would they not be able too help Eddy get on his feet, Provide him with help for rent/food/a place over his head?

  • Bill Again
    April 08, 2013 - 01:51

    The funny thing on here is the fact that certain people want me to keep my opinion to myself, but yet these people feel free to express their own opinions, all the while hiding behind "pen names", what's up with that? Lol. One has to love

  • Bill Bradley
    April 08, 2013 - 00:43

    I have read all of the comments, and apparently a lot of people were insulted by my comments, but come on people; there are lots of jobs here on the island that will pay your bills, they might not be what everybody wants; but it is honest money. Myself, I work where I have to; not where I want to and it involves spending extended periods away from my family. This kid has no reason to turn down work, which he has done more than once. Read the co mentors that offered him work, and he turned it down. People are turning this into a legitimately charitable situation, which it is not, if this were a family in need, or even a disabled person in need; I would be the first one in line to help....that is not what this is!!! What this is, is a young healthy person that is too damned lazy to actually go out and find an honest job. I have no idea why people don't seem to see that there is absolutely no reason for this guy to doing what he is doing. My employment forces me to spend many weeks away from my family in order to provide for them, which I do willingly. There is no reason why this guy can't find a job flipping burgers even, instead of mooching off the working class people. Charity has it's place,and this is not the place!

  • failedabortions
    April 08, 2013 - 00:16

    I love how all these people complain about how this man has it so rough yet none of them would probably let him stay at there place nor give him any money. Yes times are tough but you can still flip burgers or wash dishes. Those type of "a monkey can do it" jobs are constantly everywhere. Us paying for there food and place to stay isn't going to help him, its going to make him do it until he dies . He's on the street for a reason people, Iv'e seen crack head junkies hold a job and keep a place so this dude has no excuse.

  • Dan
    April 07, 2013 - 23:00

    I worked at a store down from the shoppers and when he was there I would stop and talk to Eddie. He is not a bad guy he has done stuff that he regrets but think if any of you lived like he did you guys would do something bad just to survive. He has told me he has sleeped in countless places. I once went and seen him and he had ice on his shoes cause he couldn't find a place to sleep he was stuck outside in -30 or worse weather. His family won't take him in and most of the jobs he has been applying for have not been getting back to him because he does not have a phone or address or email. During the summer he has done some work painting and stuff he has told me. But after that job was done he wasn't needed anymore. I'm reading these comments and seeing all these people saying he's useless and should be able to work. I would think by now people should be done judging but that seems to never stop I personally give this guy money when I see him. I usually can only give him spare change and even that makes him happy. He is a very kind guy just trying to get by. I think our government should focus on helping these homeless people.

    • LA
      April 08, 2013 - 07:10

      Tha'ts commendable of you. But this is an example of someone putting themselves in that situation. Even the coathanger lady is out pounding the pavement making money for herself. She makes him look bad.

  • fahnti
    April 07, 2013 - 20:55

    Something about this story doesnt add up...

  • Freelance Guy
    April 07, 2013 - 20:49

    The problem with this story isn't Eddy's tale of woe, but what's missing from the reportage. The reporter simply takes Eddy's second-hand statement about policy at the shelter as fact. Where's the call to the shelter? To the friend who's putting him up for a fee? Where's a call to city hall about the issue of panhandling? The police? Are there other issues keeping Eddy from securing employment? I see the value in putting a face to a problem, but the reporter has taken far too narrow a view of a large problem.

  • not the whole story
    April 07, 2013 - 20:01

    If he wasn't capable of working, it would be different.but he's had numerous jobs and either quit or got fired for not showing up...he went to school for upgrading and job search, and quit that too...he could have an address to use(his mothers) cardigan....but doesn't like her boyfriend....and no he isn't a crack addict....he likes weed and pills..there were employers looking for crop workers in the stratford area usually daily...that would be near his stratford bridge....theres jobs that he can do if he chooses to or go stay with his mother until then...he CHOOSES not to!

  • Erin
    April 07, 2013 - 19:25

    I prefer to be the person who offers a meal, a dollar, a helping hand, a smile, a kind word, a winter coat, whatever the need that presents itself. It makes me a much happier person than to validate doing nothing by convincing myself the need is not there, the person is not worthy, this is a scam, they made this choice, or to rush past hoping to forget about them as quickly as possible.

  • captain canuck
    April 07, 2013 - 19:23

    Oh, the warm compassion is bringing me to tears! Think about this for a second... would he really choose to live on the street? Those winters aren't exactly made in Florida.

  • High school
    April 07, 2013 - 18:52

    I went to high school with Eddy. I know he has went through hard times with his family, and I hate how people judge others. You don't know how this guy ended up getting here. As for having an address to get a job, you do need one, how else would you file your papers for taking taxes off your cheque? I will kindly offer my address to him next time I see him. If he declines than that is his decision and at least i tried. On the subject of getting a job in the first place, have you seen PEI? I had a hard enough time finding a full time job, now with ei being the way it is, good luck. People judge on looks unfortunately, and after this news article, most people will not offer him a job because people judge and gossip and what not. I know that there are many good people here on the island and I hope they show some compassion whenever eddy tries to get out there and get a job once he is up on his feet and has his address. unfortunately about 60% of the people that wrote comments on this article judged him already, and more to come tomorrow when this is tomorrow's front page. Judge me for writing this comment, I know everyone will. "Why don't you give him a place to stay, why don't you buy him meals, etc. etc." .. My question to you is why don't you if you're such a great person! At least I am going to try and help. I know everyone may frown on the homeless after the last incident that was written in the guardian but everyone is different! Don't judge!

  • ed
    April 07, 2013 - 18:33

    islanders so quick to judge you people make me sick.go back to church and give money to your priest for they can forgive you for your sins .what a joke

    • We
      April 07, 2013 - 20:26

      Some of us don't judge, we know!

    • And
      April 07, 2013 - 20:29

      It's not just islanders that judge and It's more like this man is a joke then we are.

  • city resident
    April 07, 2013 - 18:20

    I saw and had this fellow ask me for money . A customer at the A&W that was getting an order went out and asked him id he wanted a burger and pop. The guy bought it for him , he ate it then left the garbage in front of the store and proceeded his way over to Wendy's to get another free meal I would guess. Hopefully the cat is out of the bag for this fellow after people see this in the paper ......

  • Shortcake
    April 07, 2013 - 16:07

    There are many "real" homeless people that need people to reach out to them, but I for one believe this guy is scamming people. I work at Wendy's Grafton and this guy comes in frequently to buy a meal. The meal he buys is not just a small burger etc. but a big combo meal. Anybody that is "really" homeless would not have money to spend on a meal out everyday. This guy is young and physically capable of working. Many "real" homeless people are old and not physically able to work. I have no problems in being compassionate for the true homeless but this guy sickens me.

    • You are the problem
      April 07, 2013 - 16:51

      You sicken me. When someone only eats one meal a day why should it not be enough to hold them out for the day.

  • mccarthy butler
    April 07, 2013 - 16:06

    Over a year really..he does not want to work or he would be. people are having a hard time looking after themselves let alone giving to a young healthy man. join the Armed Forces , anything just get off the streets..

    • LA
      April 08, 2013 - 07:19

      He's not exactly a good candidate for the army. You have to be motivated and willing to work hard.

  • PEI voter
    April 07, 2013 - 16:02 might have missed the story awhile back that claimed the vast majority of money donated to legit charities was found to be about 10 percent in some cases. I would rather give quietly to a person in need directly or give anonymously to a neighbour in need or someone struggling. And berating or being verbally abusive to someone doesn't help, its probably best you just move past them and say nothing. What good does it do to berate them except make the abuser look like a loser in need of a superiority fix.

  • mccarthy butler
    April 07, 2013 - 15:54

    Over a year really..he does not want to work or he would be. people are having a hard time looking after themselves let alone giving to a young healthy man. join the Armed Forces , anything just get off the streets..

  • Cb
    April 07, 2013 - 15:24

    This is the biggest scam ever. I invite EVERYONE to google "red haired eddy pei". This guys been around Charlottetown for quite awhile and has gained quite a notorious record.

    • Wow
      April 07, 2013 - 16:33

      Wow, that is insane! This guy isn't a helpless guy, he is a drain on society!

  • Bill Kays
    April 07, 2013 - 15:06

    I would like to thank Jocelyn Claybourne for covering this story. The homeless and poor in this province are the most vulnerable in our society. Bill Bradley doesn't have the answers. He is like most folks today, he is selfishly concerned about what he has instead of "what can I do to make a difference?" Rather than walk by these folks, take them for a meal if you can afford it, if you cannot afford it just stop and talk. Society today is a reflection of the greedy immoral behaviors and attitudes of its peoples. Selfishness, greed, wrath, laziness (sloth), pride, lust, envy, and gluttony, the seven deadly sins, is the reason our society is gone to hades. If we weren't so much into ourselves we could afford to do more. Bill Bradley, listen, if you think that this cannot happen to you, you are sadly mistaken. You put too much faith into man made constructs that fade with time or sometimes they can change in an instant such as governments, banks, stock exchanges, property rights, etc., etc. Who are your idols today, just who or what do you worship? Remember that the next homeless person you walk by could be your friends, family or you.

    • Bob Sigma
      April 07, 2013 - 15:52

      Bill Kays, I read your comments and like all your writings here they are long on ranting and really short on solutions. I also notice religion is creeping more and more into your comments so I am getting a better understanding of where you are coming from. Also, since I know a bit of your background it is becoming clear what influences your opinions.

    • Dave
      April 07, 2013 - 20:08

      You may well be right about the seven deadly sins, but I am unsure Bill is the one guilty.

    • Dave
      April 07, 2013 - 22:44

      2 hours? Are they driving in reverse?

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      April 08, 2013 - 16:40

      Bob, Truth is what motivates me and compassion for the oppressed. RELIGION does not motivate me. The Lord motivates me. Do not confuse religion with spirituality. I am walking with Jesus by my side, therefore I am not RELIGIOUS about anything other than not letting these politicians off the hook for their ineptitude, stupidity and greed. I am not looking for anyone's approval or agreement with what I write, I just ask for an open mind. I am not concerned about being right or wrong, I am only concerned with the truth and I demand it, 100%, not mostly true or partly true.

  • mike
    April 07, 2013 - 15:03

    not going to bash on the guy but, If you need an address to get a job but don't have one. Make one up or ask a friend if he can use their address. Plus 20 bucks a day just to sleep at a friends house. Thats nuts. an 80 thousand Montague is less then that. and some apartments are less then that

  • Shelly
    April 07, 2013 - 14:55

    I see these people daily by the stratford bridge and it is pathetic! Everyone can get a job....sorry if it may not be an exciting one at first but you have to work your way up! I'm a single mother struggling and i go to work everyday to provide for my daughter. I am a compassionate person but my view also is that if they can panhandle for 8-9 hours everyday then why not put that effort into finding a job! They always seem to have a tims coffee in their hand so maybe they should see if they are's something atleast!

  • Townie
    April 07, 2013 - 14:48

    I have never had a job yet where a requirement was to have a home address. Very weak excuse.

  • I do care.
    April 07, 2013 - 14:34

    My heart goes out to you!really!But in saying that a person must help himself before others can help him.Do you want a better life?Believe it or not people there are some that feel that society owes them.For whatever reason.Mental illness.Drug addition and alcohol addiction are all illnesses.I get that.Believe me I have tried numerous times to bring my own son from being homeless.Hes had numerous chances as well as all services available to him only to thro it all away once again.Im sure this young man could probably tell you a similar story.Come on Buddy,fess up.You know theres more to your story than just being down and out! You will be in my prayers along with my son tonight in hopes that you start anew and take responsibility for yourself.

  • unreal
    April 07, 2013 - 14:32

    He shouldn't be on the streets doing this it well be different if he was sick or needed a place to stay for a night or 2 but every day sitting by shoppers drug mart come on, He is 23 years old only young probably needs the money for drugs why not get a job dont seem to be nothing wrong with him.

  • Friend of a Quadriplegic
    April 07, 2013 - 14:26

    Wow, a fully able bodied 23 year begging for money for a year? Time for him to put his big boy pants on. I know a quadriplegic (and other very physically disabled people) who are considered unemployable and live off Social Assistance. The crazy thing is a person using a large electric wheelchair and various other aids to live, is given $523/month by SS to find a place to live. If anyone knows anything about rents in C'Town, they'll know $523 (including utilities) won't get anything even close to accessible in this city. And yet, here's this guy complaining because he can "only" get $600/month from begging for shelter. Well boo hoo, you have a healthy body, get off your butt and start walking in the direction of work. Not everyone has that "privilege". Maybe, as a society we should start helping the REAL MOST NEEDY amongst us to live a life with a good quality and TELL 23 year olds, with the world at their feet, to take care of themselves. SS would have to provide about $1000-$1300+ for a person with severe physical disability to find and apartment with even OK a access. Come on, let's get our priorities straight!

    • Friend of a Quadriplegic
      April 08, 2013 - 17:10

      With all the replies here I find it interesting that nobody has even commented on the circumstance of physically disabled people but many say they've read all comments and still feel sorry for an able bodied lazy bum. Crazy how life works. People who've had accidents leaving them as quadriplegics at young ages and unfortunately taking their talents away or making them impossible, when this the 23 year bum) guy would have been a better choice for SCI. Government used to assist in helping SCI get through university but like most things to help the disabled, they've been taken away. This while people show massive concern for children with mental and physical disabilities and adults with metal disabilities BUT somehow adults with sound mind but severe disabilities are supposed to fend for themselves. When a person really can't work, they can't work. Paralysis is not fixable. Some people have the good fortune of getting educated, getting a large settlement etc... before or after their accident but they're are many caught in a no man's land of having to rely on support from SS. And it's pathetic.

  • Dave
    April 07, 2013 - 14:23

    You don't need an address to get a job, you can come up with a way to cover that easily. You don't need a phone either, there are ways around that too. You simply need the initiative to change, but alcohol, drugs and mental illness all do a good job of destroying that initiative. But there is help for that too.

  • Stewart Smith
    April 07, 2013 - 14:01

    Either he is mentally ill, in which case he should be in treatment, or he isn't - in which case we have a social safety net for people like this. So he's obviously chosen this lifestyle. Just don't give him money and encourage him.

  • Employed
    April 07, 2013 - 13:52

    Bill, perhaps you could offer him a chance to use your address for work. Once a month for a year he could pick up his mail, giving him a leg up on life. This way it diffuses all aspects of doubt, and you wouldn't appear to be such a prude! I only hope your siblings are able to live up to the same expectations as the man in the article. With their blessed beginnings in life, it would be nice for them to appreciate what some others weren't born with!

  • Frustrating.
    April 07, 2013 - 13:47

    This has to be the most frustrating thing I've read in the paper in ages. I know this man, very well. I felt pity for him for the longest time, but I don't anymore. He is completely capable of working, there is no need of him living on the streets. Maybe that sounds harsh, but had he not given his family the same old pity story for as long as he has, he'd probably have a place to stay right now. Unfortunately, he chose the path he is on, and it's up to him to change it.

    April 07, 2013 - 13:46

    Reading your comment made me realize how ignorant people still are. If you & your family live a "RICH" life in your "RICH" country, koodos to you. Maybe you should open your eyes and look around you. I work a full-time job and so does my partner. It still makes it hard to make ends meet... I could only imagine how difficult it would be to try and get by without working a full-time job. I admit, some pan handlers probably just do it for extra cash, but in situations like this... have some heart. Maybe try thinking before you post something like that again... I'd love to find out where this "RICH COUNTRY" is as well!

  • employed
    April 07, 2013 - 13:43

    I can't say for sure how much the man in the photo wishes to be employed, but with the HST in effect, it won't be long before he has lots of company. Also I sat at a union hall the other day when Canadians stood in line to look for work and were left empty handed after a bus load of tradesmen south of our boarder walked in, grabbed their jobs, and were given all new work clothes after being treated to a buffet. I'm thinking I should give up my citizenship and claim immigrant status!

  • Reta
    April 07, 2013 - 13:38

    Due to health issues,, I will be looking for someone to rake, paint, garden work etc. I wonder if this young man is interested? $10.00 per hour.

  • Sylvia
    April 07, 2013 - 13:38

    You never know what anyone else is going through until you walk in their shoes. A long time ago I was a single mom living in poverty, almost losing our home, but at least my son & I had a roof over our heads. I was shocked when I read that someone threw a bottle of urine at him. This is a very sad story, it really is. I've stopped donating to charity collections for other countries as I feel there are too many people in P.E.I. who need help. My main organization that I help in P.E.I. is Salvation Army. I plan on sending a donation for Bedford MacDonald House.

  • Moleasaurase Rex
    April 07, 2013 - 13:36

    Welfare will give you enough to rent a room, and for basic needs, then you could look for work...... All about choices,

  • Life Sucks
    April 07, 2013 - 13:33

    Something about this story doesn't add up - including the idea that you can't get a job without an address. Use a friend's address - use the boarding house address - not like the employer cares where you live. Reality sucks - you have to work even if you think the system should just give you what you want (99%er?) - I know - have had plenty of crappy jobs.

  • grapes
    April 07, 2013 - 13:24

    Dont feed the crows,or more will show up

  • Barley Brewer
    April 07, 2013 - 13:11

    I'm not sure how much I can accept the notion that he can't find work because he doesn't have an address. Most students use their parents' address for years because they tend to bounce around from residence to apartment to nicer apartments. That doesn't hinder their ability to find work. So why can't this guy use a friend's address on a resume? He needs $20 worth of minutes on a burner cell phone, a few copies of a resume, a shower, and the ambition to apply for one of the 200 jobs on the Working in Canada website. He can easily access the internet from a library. If he isn't suffering from addiction he should have no problem whatsoever finding a job. Perhaps he'll only nab a minimum wage job but that's $50 or $60 per shift. Surely that's better for the soul than begging on the streets.

  • Islandwoman
    April 07, 2013 - 13:00

    Sounds like his friend is committing fraud if he's scamming the taxpayers for a room that he then rents out. Why doesn't Eddy just rent his own room and then use that address to get a job? He's only 23, surely he's not planning on pan handling for the rest of his life? He says "you gotta do what you gotta do" but he's doing nothing but expecting others to pay his way.

    April 07, 2013 - 12:37

    Sometimes kindness doesn't work. I was approached by and individual on the street. He was in his twenties and asked for any change I had to buy food. I offered to buy hin lunch and offered him 100 dollars to clean up my yard from the winter. His answer was and I quote IF YOU HAVE 100 DOLLARS TO THROW AWAY JUST GIVE IT TO ME.

  • Gatorade
    April 07, 2013 - 12:26

    You know what is really sad in all my opinion anyway. We as a country continue to hand out money every year, millions and millions of dollars to countries and their populations who can't afford to feed themselves but never seem to worry about our own population. We should be looking after our own house first before tending to someone elses so to speak. I find it absolutely disgusting that everyone wants to throw this lad under the bus, telling him to get a job or it's his situation he needs to fix it himself. Everyone at one point or another needs some sort of help maybe a little maybe a lot. Maybe it's time our elected officials started looking after Canada instead of other poorer countries and stories like this would not exist. Wishing you all the best Mr Keefe here's hoping things begin to look up for you soon and although I am at the other end of the Island if I come across you on my trips to town I will do my best to help ya out seems no one else will.

    • Dave
      April 07, 2013 - 14:28

      I would prefer my tax dollars be used to help citizens of third world countries who are truly helpless. Or to be used to provide services to give people help they need, but that does not includes hand outs. Hand outs don't help anyone.

    • Rod
      April 08, 2013 - 06:40

      Give a man a fish and you have fed him. Teach him to fish, and he will feed himself.

    • Townie
      April 08, 2013 - 20:31

      Teach a man to fish all you want, if he doesn't want to fish and would rather ask for the scraps off the dock there's not much you can do.

  • wog
    April 07, 2013 - 12:23

    I can't speak for the sincerity of this person, but if he does sit out in freezing cold temperatures and panhandles like this, that says something right there. I find this is a story where I personally need to understand better how the welfare system works in this country. Seems as though a residence of some nature is one of the first things a welfare system should address for people like him so as to give him a chance to restart his life. Although this does highlight the need for truly, frugal, low-cost housing...not more condos.

  • chris
    April 07, 2013 - 12:17

    I'm sorry, but I've given the individual in the picture cash about a year ago. He set himself up on Queen st. next to the shoppersdrug mart for the past year. As far as i can tell his perfectly healthy. Yet instead of working in the summer, during every harvest season when farmers are always looking for workers. He does nothing but panhandle with his sad little signs. Sry if i have little to no sympathy for him anymore.

  • Ann
    April 07, 2013 - 12:05

    If this guy stayed in a shelter for 45 days then he had an address to use while job hunting.Again when he rent a room for $60 a week. Also, at $20 a night he is paying $600 a month for a room to only crash the night in. A boarding house would be much cheaper and LEGAL. If you really can not find a place to stay for free (friends/family) or a job (even day labour) maybe it is for a reason and you should start hiking out west where there is apparently work for everyone. I should know, I've been close to living on the streets a couple of times (some friends have) but I did what I had to do, including moving, couch surfing, and taking what ever job came my way. Through years of hard work, my life has turned a corner. I know it can for you to Eddy. It's about choices and making the most of what ever help you can get.

  • BEcca
    April 07, 2013 - 11:46

    TOTALLTY AGREE with Bill Bradley....Noone his age should be homeless with all the resources here on PEI. He CHOSES to make himself homeless. Before you know it, our hard earned tax dollars will be putting him in a nice spot while those who work their Butts off, struggle to make ends meet!!!! Maybe he should go rent off GHIZ..

    • Verification
      April 08, 2013 - 08:01

      Hi Becca, can you please tell me what "all of the resources here on PEI" are? If it wasn't for a good person making a huge donation, we wouldn't even have a homeless shelter for men. The article states that the homeless shelter only lets them stay for a few nights a week. I believe that to be true because there is such demand for its services. Mental health and addiction services are in dire straits and people wait months just to be seen. With addiction services, their offerings are inadequate. Most employers won't hire someone who sleeps on the streets. Two of the main reasons being: 1. They don't have an address or phone number to be contacted. 2. They are not clean enough (would you want a dirty person handling your food?). So, please tell me about all these services that you know of because I can't for the life of me think of what they are. Thank you.

  • Pete
    April 07, 2013 - 11:36

    Wow...what about Love Your Brother me's not about you Bill...have compassion...offer him a job or at least smile at him instead of giving him a dirty the solution dude not the problem.

  • Den
    April 07, 2013 - 11:26

    Bill, I do agree with some of your points but I don't believe in mudslinging when it comes to homelessness. We're all pretty well 3 paycheques away from living on the street, except of course for politicians who will never know that feeling since they steal everything they can from the people who voted them in. Not everyone who is homeless is a junkie, sometimes the financial impact of a divorce or a job loss can put people on the street or very close to it but unfortunately, making bad life decisions is the biggest reason for the rise in homeless people. From time to time I'll toss some change into a hat but I prefer to make donations to a charity like Bedford MacDonald House because who knows, I may need it someday.

  • Really
    April 07, 2013 - 11:13

    @ Bill...I can't imagine this gentleman living this way because he chooses to. It may sound foreign to some but lots of Islanders still just get by and thats all. I work 3 part time jobs to get 36 hours a week and if I were to miss a cheque or two I think would be in the same scenario.....and last time I looked Canada wasn't really considered a rich country. Definition of rich is not spending more than the available revenue. And yes there are jobs but there are 25 people looking for that one job and not everyone can be employed. Have a heart he doesn't stand out in -30 weather because he wants to.

  • Geta job
    April 07, 2013 - 11:04

    I have looked for people every summer to push a lawn mower or rake or garden shovel or wash windows. I have asked this guy and the girl at canadian tire if they were interested they both declined. Must make more suckering people into giving them there hard earned money. Don't give it to them , they don't deserve help if they don't want to help themselves.

    • mixed feelings
      April 08, 2013 - 07:54

      i don't know about this gentleman, but the "girl at Canadian Tire" is a scam as far as i am concerned. i pulled into the old Sobeys location just before they closed, and was looking over by her as i finished a cigarette before going in, no cars were coming, so a car of young people pulled up to her from a few rows away, talked and joked with her for a few minutes, then reversed back to their previous parking place. curious and intrigued, i watched a little longer, after about ten minutes of very light traffic, she waved to the hidden car of young people, which pulled up to her, she jumped in, and away they went. i'm not saying this gentleman is the same, just that the girl is not legit, just looking for party money or something.

  • Holy Smokes
    April 07, 2013 - 10:46

    Hey Bill....don't be such an a$$.

  • Lucky Me
    April 07, 2013 - 10:43

    Since I have never walked in his shoes, I will reserve judgement, and consider myself one of the lucky ones.

  • BobertBhiz
    April 07, 2013 - 10:41

    It's not that people don't care, it's that the bad apples ruin the bunch. Consider Toronto. For every legitimately needy person, there are 100 who aren't. Panhandling can be a lucrative endeavor for some. It often pays for drugs, booze, tattoos, piercings. If a city doesn't aggressively tackle panhandling early, the vagrants will soon outnumber the pedestrians. Charlottetown is a city with absolutely zero focus on bylaw enforcement. If the loitering, jaywalking, noisy motorcycles, traffic laws and smoking bylaws aren't enforced, how do you think an employed person trying to walk a few blocks is going to fare when panhandling gets aggressive? You can dismiss my warnings as a "B.Kays Konspiracy", or you can ask someone you know who lives in Toronto. It can happen, it will happen, and it will happen fast. It makes for a very miserable place to have to walk around in. We do not need Toronto's population to suffer the same shortsighted failure to tackle this problem early. There have been murders, countless assaults, damaged cars and stabbings from "squeegie kids", organized panhandling, elaborate frauds bilking well-meaning people out of collectively thousands per month. (remember the Bloor St. 'shaky lady' story, Toronto?). That's why the only real way to help people is to donate to local charities. Yes, I could probably spare some change, and yes, I would like to legitimately help someone like this guy to get back on his feet. I will not, however, give him a place to stay or give him cash. Unfortunately, this is not the world we live in anymore. People can't be trusted in your home, money doesn't always go to shelter and food. I do donate to local charities whose specialties are providing food and shelter to people in need. I know it's not the silver bullet solution, but these charities, coupled with Social Services, is far more opportunity than the world's poor could ever dream of. No, I'm not taking into account possible mental health issues or many other factors preventing someone from working, I'm just making a point. Treat the panhandling aggressively NOW, or suffer the consequences, Charlottetown.

    • Jambi
      April 07, 2013 - 12:13

      I like how you had to add tattoos and piercings in there you chud. You are no better than B Kay's and you sound like an idiot.

    • Bill Kays
      April 07, 2013 - 15:40

      Alright, so Toronto is a failure, I agree, but we are not there just yet. Yes it can happen fast and will happen UNLESS we get out ahead of it and make homelessness intolerable to our local society. If we TOLERATE IT, it will happen. Donating to local charities is a good thing, I am convinced that large charities are either a fraud or a waste. I do not believe in giving hand outs but hand ups. Give no cash. If they are hungry and you want to help, buy him a meal, sit down with him, and talk. Then you can pray let your Holy Spirit guide you as to your next action or inaction. Of course, it would take political will to accomplish this and we have an uncaring, uncompassionate government that does not believe in prevention. The gov talks about prevention, good nutrition, healthy lifestyles, etc., etc., but does not provide the necessary political will to actually do something. The big $85,000. study for example, let's see what they decide to do. Drug addiction, alcohol addiction, food addiction, obesity, crime, is all on the rise. Will we see further legislation or further preventative measures? How will they decide to tackle these issues?

  • mike
    April 07, 2013 - 10:31

    This is dumb. If he had rent for one month why couldn't he go get a job than? I know the military is hiring, and I hear they pay well.....

  • Compassion Bill
    April 07, 2013 - 10:29

    Bill, I do not give this gentleman any money either, but you have no right to ASSUME his situation. Judging is why this society lets him beg for money and a place to stay. He is not asking you to feel sorry for him, rather trying to provide for himself the best way he can under these circumstances. Maybe if he had a good night sleep provided for him, he could get a job and maintain it. Don't be so judgmental.

  • Government Step Up
    April 07, 2013 - 10:25

    It is stories like this that needs to land on the desks of Government officials (no matter who is in power) and someone needs to push them to fix the issue they are responsible for, Social programs do not get near enough financial support than other things. IE How much money did the Ghiz Government give to Gahan Breweries to open a new facility...yet we have people sleeping under bridges?? When will society get together and step up to politicians and force them to change where they spend their money????

    April 07, 2013 - 10:24

    Why can't he work? I'm afraid he doesn't want to work, not that he can't find a job. 23 years old and he is a bum? And please, all you bleeding hearts out there, don't make excuses fort him, this is the life he chose.

  • Bill Bradley
    April 07, 2013 - 10:21

    What a crock, how about this guy stop feeling sorry for yourself and go flip burgers, or does he make more begging and putting people on the spot. I have seen this guy many many times and I give him a dirty look everytime I see him because he is trying to make me feel guilty because of everything that I and my wife have worked our whole lives for. If my 17 year old daughter can find work here in PEI, and everybody that I know; there is absolutely no reason that this looser can't find a job, also; his pan handling antics should be made illegal, it distracts drivers on their way to a busy intersection. I am sure the whole reason that he wanted this story published, is the hopes that money will flood in, sorry buddy; you will NEVER get a penny from me. The only charities that I donate to, are the ones that actually need money, not just so somebody can stand on a corner looking helpless in a very rich country!! GET A JOB!!!!!

    • David
      April 07, 2013 - 11:19

      Did you miss the part of the article where nobody would give him a job because he doesn't have an address? Also, you seemed to miss the part where he tries not to judge people - so if you're feeling guilty, that's on you, not on him. So my suggestion to you is to perhaps stop writing and start reading - maybe then you could find a little empathy for those without the same fortune as you.

    • Cody mceachern
      April 07, 2013 - 11:41

      You need an address to get a job, guy. He doesn't have one, so he doesn't have a job. How about you get off your high horse and walk a day in his shoes. Try not to be so arrogant to your fellow human beings and grow some damn feelings!

    • Piet Hein
      April 07, 2013 - 12:18

      Gee Bill, if only we were all as good as you at living life. You should teach seminars on how to be a wonderful person. Too bad compassion is not part of your vocabulary.

    • Chris
      April 07, 2013 - 14:09

      Hey Bill, how about you treat your opinion like your change and keep it to yourself.

    • LA
      April 08, 2013 - 07:40

      Dave and Cody: No, you don't need an address to get a job. Although he does have one - the boarding house. He may try not to judge people, but he certainly expects them to act like he deserves everyone's cash and attention. Why does he expect my acknowledgement and help when I hardly have a cent of my own to give him even though I work like a dog? If I treat him like the wall, it's because unlike him I am too old and overworked to waste energy supporting him.