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He was trying to sober up. He never got the chance

Globe and Mail Update

Over and over, the shelter staff see men and women like Mitchell Anderson, seeking a cure for their disease, and they have to tell them: “There's nowhere for you to go.” ...Read the full article

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  1. Carolyn Bongiorno from Glenham, NY, United States writes: This is sad, my condolences to his daughter and family. The hit and run driver should step forward. S/he will be discovered sooner or later.

    Two of my brothers have been homeless. It is a difficult life.
  2. heather . from Canada writes: It is so easy to judge people but really, I think we are all the same deep down. We all have our issues and challenges that we struggle with, we just have different ways of dealing with them, some more socially acceptable than others.

    I am a big fan of personal responsibility, of people taking responsibility for their choices and for overcoming their challenges, but at the same time, it is all about balance. We all need to take responsibility for our choices and our lives, but we also all need support in doing this. It is a delicate balance that is difficult to find and maintain, and is likely different for everyone. "Lefties" tend to focus more on the support side, and "right wingers" tend to focus more on the personal responsibility side. I think the best way to help our people and our communities is to focus on balancing these views.

    I also think it is despicable to hit someone with your car and just take off. While Mitchell's lifestyle may have made him more vulnerable to being hit by a car, his life is surely worth more than that! Many people who struggle with issues such as his heal and use their experiences to help others. Perhaps this could have been his story?
  3. Philosopher Dog from Toronto, Canada writes: Very sad story. I think it shows the extent to which this apparently amazing society we live in fails so many people. I have a brother who lived on the streets for years. He worked all his life and then ran into a problem with an addiction, lost his job, and then everything else. In this neo-conservative paradise we've set up my brother was not even entitled to EI (after paying in for a lifetime!) because he was fired from his job! The $500 is potential welfare didn't cover even his rent. So, he went to the streets, and lived in a shelter. He wasn't addicted to drugs or alcohol. You have no idea how difficult it is to get yourself out of that situation once in it. Just simple things like the way the shelter makes everything smell. You can't even go to a job interview unless you have clothes somewhere off site to change into. There's no services. It's just a life support service; they just don't want you to die physically speaking. The bare necessities of food, water, and a bed; that's it. We should all be ashamed of the way we treat people like this. It could be you. It happens. The way we treat the least well off is the test of how evolved a society we are. We do very poorly on that test. Surely this person in this story could have been helped with pretty few resources. A country this wealthy and we can't help someone in such desperate need? Isn't it ironic that some idiot in a red sports car with a blonde girl hits and kills the guy? Bizarre. I wonder whether the police are even taking this seriously. Imagine if some Bay Street lawyer were killed by a hit and run? Surely there would be an entire police team assigned to solving it.
  4. Doug Edwards from rural, Canada writes: For those of you out there that have not struggled with adiction to alcohol, you can only guess at the problems of getting, and staying sober. There are probably bigger challenges in life, but for the alcoholic it is the only challenge.

    There are no simple solutions. If you haven't been there, it is easy to talk about "treatment" and "counselling". In the end, people get sober because they are going to loose something more important than their next drink. If there is nothing to loose that is more important than that next drink then you will take it.

    When you have found that there is something more important than that next drink, there are people out there who will help you deal with the fallout of alcohol abuse. AA has an ad in almost every paper every day. THat can be an important starting point.

    As far as the guy in the red car is concerned, just another guy that doesn't accept his responsibilities. When the law catchs up with him, he will get a slap on the wrist because our society doesn't hold individuals responsible for their actions.
  5. Caroline Johnson from Canada writes: First off I want to apologize to the family and the daughter, it sounds like they have lost a man with potential to be a great father and mentor but with the addiction in his way and not enough resources we will never know how he could have used his full strength to make himself better.
    In our community about 20 min out of town I see the results of not enough housing and resources, it is true that some people prefer to be left alone in their illness, and I have had to call police to get them back into the city. They have no where to go and the outskirts of the city are a favorite spot as no one else has claimed it yet. We have tent cities along the river bank and one right at a children's bus stop, but they are back the next day. It is quiet the picture to see, a shopping buggy so full that it is hidden amongst the items... lawn chairs, sleeping bags, bags of bottle, clothes... anything you can imagine...even local street signs, and they push them down the highway an hour or so by foot out of town to the orchards and fields. I feel for them and their family and some have a system to meet family at certain locations for food or money.
    I'm curious to see what happens to all these poor souls when the 2010 Olympics are here in Vancouver... all ready they are sending them out of town. I'm wondering how far they will travel to be safe.
  6. B M from Kingston, Canada writes: My condolences to Mitchell's family and friends. As mentioned by previous posters, this man had been stuggling under painful circumstances and to die such an undignified death adds insult to injury.

    Mitchell seem to have been dealt some bad cards. He was trying hard to move on from this.

    Hopefully whoever is responsible for this will come forward. In doing so, some tiny amend might be made. In not doing so...the disrespect continues for this man.

    A shame
  7. mary wells from Canada writes: You know sometimes i can be a biatch.......i think "what losers"........just stop the drinking and get on with life...........but the reality of it is" There but for the grace of God go I" sympathies to Mr.Anderson's family and friends and all who loved him...........
  8. Food for thought from the west coast from Canada writes: In my eyes Mitchell Anderson was a better person that the guy who hit him, and then left the scene. Ditto for the so called blonde sitting beside him. What a lovely couple. So much for integrity and accountability. Condolences to Mr. Andersons family.
  9. C R from Canada writes: My sympathies to the family.

    Philosopher Dog and Doug Edwards: I think you made some very good and valid points.

    It truly is so difficult to break the cycle when the government support systems are so systematic and at times contribute to the problems and the stigma.

    I once, when living in Windsor, recall hearing a story about a Church in MI that was allowing 'people in need' to use their address (for employment purposes) and come to the building to shower and get cleaned up so that they could smell and look good to potential employers. Although there had been no instances of wrongdoing, the community surrounding the Church launched an attack to shut the process down, saying that it was "dangerous" to have "those kind of people" around local communities and schools. To tell the truth, these were just a bunch of people who needed an address, phone number and a shower ... no one even lived there.

    It just reminds me of how inhuman we can be toward each other at times. We are fine as long as the government hides those people from us....ur, I mean takes care of those people for us...
  10. Ian Fleming from Canada writes: To the person that struck and killed Anderson -- Turn your self in, the family needs to know closure and that you did the right thing after all, admitted your part, and that their loved one wasn't just killed and disregarded like a piece of trash..
  11. Harvey Mushman from cambridge, Canada writes: A sad end to a sad life.
  12. No Name Necessary from Canada writes: this is so sad. I hope they catch these people and I hope they get what they deserve.

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