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Entries in homeless portrait (1)

Thursday
Dec032015

"A Tortured Soul" - Elora Portrait Photographer

 As I prepared for my trip out west I had no idea that I would cross paths with such an interesting and resilient man. I spotted Glen in a Tim Horton’s in Banff and just had to meet him and see if he might allow me to photograph him. I had no idea in that moment that Glen was homeless and that we were about to get to know each other a lot better.

As it turns out, Glen had been sleeping in the bushes on the outskirts of the town of Banff for some time. Glen was planning to re-locate to Calgary (about a 1.5 hour drive away) so that he would have access to a shelter in the cold weather. In return for allowing me to photograph him, I promised Glen a ride to Calgary once I was done my other shoots in the area.

Glen is 88 years old and very weak. He has trouble walking and clearly should not be living such a harsh life… but it appears that he has no choice in the matter. Because of the nature of homelessness, Glen was unable to store his food properly and in turn was unfortunately attracting bears to the town. Park wardens were faced with the unfortunate task of asking Glen to leave Banff National Park for the duration of one year for the safety of himself and others. After watching the Wardens do everything they could to explain the situation to a clearly upset homeless man, my heart ached for him.

I find it so unthinkable that someone the age of Glen could ever have to sleep in the cold without a roof over their head or enough money to feed themselves properly. I helped in a small way by giving Glen some money for food and a ride to a warmer place, but I still fear for his safety and quite frankly his life, as the temperatures drop. I’ll be thinking of Glen and hoping that more people will help him along the way and allow him to live in some comfort for his remaining years.