The young man sat there quietly. I apologized to him for the wait but most of our intake volunteers were away. He received the apology graciously. He wasn’t into American football. Or politics. Or world events. He was even a bit reluctant to admit that he lived in “the building”. But once we crossed that threshold he was animated. He had lived there for five years. Things had improved since they had security guards there 24-7. But there was still drugs readily available (for a place that had many, many recovering addicts).
Most neighbours were fine and considerate. But the oddest things happened including people running down the halls stark naked. There were no common rooms (except in the basement and they were rented out by CAMH). There was no yard or common space. If you came down the front steps too quickly you would find yourself in the middle of an arterial road. He talked of the improvements that had been made (mostly cosmetic exterior) and remained to be done (e.g., so that you could plug in more than one appliance at a time). He was talking about home.