Single
Carpenter, Construction
Likes reading and music

Michel,  61 years old

He didn't chose to be homeless...

have a Secondary School Diploma and a college studies certificate in electronics. I worked as a carpenter in construction for 20 years and worked the equivalent of 13 and a half years in the health system as a general maintenance worker.

I’ve never been married and I don’t have any kids. I do have six sisters and three brothers that I’m still in touch with. My father is still alive: he’s 94.

My main hobbies are reading at the library and other places and listening to music.

I’m planning to get back into sports this spring, but I have to be careful because I have a cardiac arrhythmia. Sometimes, I get winded even when I’m just walking. I need to do it, but I will start slowly.

In 1982, I was drunk and ran into a pedestrian with my car and killed her. I will never forget that image. The whole film is in my head. It will be there forever. From the time I saw her until the moment she went under the car. It’s all there, down to the millisecond. When they explained exactly how she died, I went through my path in my head and I know the exact moment she died. She didn’t suffer long. Her spinal column was broken at the skull…that’s instant death.

Let’s just say…I don’t really like talking about it. It has affected me my whole life and will continue to affect me for the rest of my life.

After my accident, I started down a long, dark road. I shut myself in my room for three months at my parents’ house and didn’t come out. They tried to make me see a psychologist, but I didn’t want to know anything. I was depressed for a long time. When I finally left my house, I never talked about my accident. Other people talked to me about it, but I told them it was none of their business. The only thing I wanted was to be able to forget. I wanted to change my thoughts. But it was always on my mind and it’s still really difficult.

Drugs were what drove me onto the street. Alcohol and drugs.

I came here for the first time in 1988. I don’t really remember how I first heard about Maison du Père.

Policemen brought me to another organism. The people who frequented that shelter told me that if I wanted a better place, I had to go to the Maison du Père. They were right, because yes, it's completely different. I never wanted to sleep outside. So when I found myself without a roof, I came here every day. I went back there in 2010.

I also went to Jean-Lapointe House, in 2011, for a detoxification of alcohol and hard drugs. I was a big drinker of cognac. Nevertheless, I congratulate myself, because I have not taken alcohol and hard drugs since that time. It's been 6 years last week, February 11, 2017.

 

This year, I stayed about 1 year at the Shelter. I chose to do tasks: it allowed me to have a reserved bed, and I did not have time to splurge. Alcohol and cocaine is an everyday struggle. Even if I do not think about it, it will remain a fight throughout my life. But I'm not ready to fall right away. I do not intend to fall at all either.

 

At the Maison du Père,  I feel safe. I have heart problems and I had an infarction in 2009. It's reassuring for me to know that there are nurses and social workers present 24 hours a day. And then at least, with the psychosocial workers, when I want to talk about serious things, they are always there to listen and exchange.

I am at a point in my life where the future, I do not think about it too much. I try to be confortable about myself today. I try not to live in the past, without forgetting it, because I don’t want to make the same mistakes. I try to live in the present.

When I was at the Shelter, I enjoyed all the summer activities that were offered to us: I played softball!

 

I have been at the residence for two weeks.  For now it's going to be that. I intend to participate to activities; maybe to learn how to manage with a computer! I want to take the time to fix some things, slowly and gradually . Eventually, I'd like to go back to my hometown, but I'm not ready right away. I have a lot of time, and a lot of sleep to  to catchup on. At least I know I'm going in the right direction.

 
 
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550, René-Lévesque blvd. East
Montreal  (Quebec)  H2L 2L3
514 845-0168