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Downtown's Denizens

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

You can't fix a place if you don't understand its people: Why did they come here, from as far off as Montreal, and why do they stay? ...Read the full article

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  1. truth betold from Canada writes: I've got a profile to add: Taxpayer. Born in Alberta. Works for a living. Pays taxes. Doesn't drink and start bar fights. Doesn't do drugs. Helps friends and neighbours. Sick and tired of whiny crackheads who think it's the world's fault that they are losers.

    I hope part of that billion dollars security bill for the Five Ring Circus in 2010 includes rounding up crackheads and putting them on a barge in the Pacific.
  2. Ray jones from Hamilton, Canada writes: Where is the rest of the story? The part where the reporter interviewed the families and former friends of these people. Why do reporters regularly accept these sad tales as fact? I expect that some arrived in the Downtown Eastside through no fault of their own but I suspect that many more are there as a result of poor choices freely and willingly made. I guess how they got there is now irrelevant, they all need help, but if you're going to write about it get the whole story, eh.
  3. Squish_a_p From BC from Canada writes: truth betold from Canada, I hope mental illness never strikes you or your loved ones.
  4. various degrees from Hamilton, Canada writes: truth be told from Canada ,how fortunate for you to have ended up such an outstanding citizen. It is not a perfect world , your ignorant remarks prove that point. There will always be the weak and the strong among us and there will always be people who make wrong choices for a variety of reasons and pay the price. They have to take the first step towards redemption but kindness,a little compassion and a helping hand should be there for them if they can muster up the courage to reach out for it. It must be extremely hard for some of these people to take a chance at recovery when they are confronted by people with an attitude like yours. Enjoy the rest of your fat smug life.
  5. Tough Camper from Squamish, Canada writes: Hey Truth betold - how's that vote for the CONServatives working out for angry, self-entitled you?
  6. Squish_a_p From BC from Canada writes: Ahhhhhhh Truth be told. Looks like some of us are not much into listening to your whining either!
  7. K.C Brampton from Brampton, Canada writes: I suggest the critical taxpayer would benefit from reading Dr. Gabor Mate's book 'In the Realm of Hungy Ghosts', which chronicles his many years running a clinic in East Hastings and assisting the many denizens of the neighbourhood. What you are observing with the people forced to live there, is the result of childhood abuse and abandonment, lack of role models, little or no education, non-existent peer support, mental illness and a badly underfunded social network and health care system. The end result - a wasteland of persons unable to overcome their insurmountable obstacles, and resorting to any comfort they can find in drugs/alcohol to deal with their anger, resentment, depression and abject loneliness. What is required is a complete overhaul of our social services in order to provide decent housing, skills training, drug and alcohol counselling, etc. to put hope back in their lives - that they might actua that someone actually cares if they live, or die. Then, we must encourage fine upstanding citizens like our indignant taxpayer to 'see' the citizens of East Vancouver for who they truly are... someone's daughter, husband, parent, or child that probably never had a decent chance, right from childhood, and were probably doomed before they even got started. Perhaps a few dollars from Vancouver's Olympic 'pat on the back' might be put where it will be utilized for a much more tenable, and long term, benefit. 'There, but for the grace of God, go I'.
  8. Popeye Dillon from North Vancouver, Canada writes: The focus is always on the downside with the G&M. Well go a few blocks from cracker-ville and into old Strathcona which is part of the DTES and its quite a differnt neigbourhood. Its not all darkness but I know that doesn't sell.
  9. you can leave here for 4 days in space but when you return it's the same old place from Canada writes: truth betold....truth is most of these people suffer from mental illness and never got help.....'the needle and the damage done....little part of it in everyone'...
  10. Ronald Hall from Eau Claire, United States writes: Thankfully I see a few here with compassionate hearts. Sadly the problems of East Vancouver and it's people are repeated to varying degrees in cities across Canada and the USA, including the small city in the state of Wisconsin in which I currently live. Thank you K.C Brampton for your observations which are spot on.
  11. Sweet Pea from Canada writes: I thought this was a great article. Hearing peoples individual stories was probably very eye opening for many. 'truth betold', too bad you read it with your eyes closed.
  12. all good from Svalbard and Jan Mayen Isl writes: There is an industry behind all this:Its called social work where everyone makes 100thou a year .They create there own customers starting with children s aid, teenenage agency , etc .They encourage kids not to listen to their parents , freedom , do what you want . The ideea that there are poor people in this country is a joke. If you want to see povertry go to South Africa, slums of Rio.
  13. Helene McKenzie from Canada writes: 'all good' should know that poverty is relative, the same as wealth is. I am poor compared to Bill Gates but rich compared to some who live on Vancouver's eastside. We can't really compare our poor (or our rich) to those who live elsewhere.
  14. common sense from Ft.mac, Canada writes:

    As a recoverying addict,I can say that the social network is there,for those that truelly want the help.

    K.C Brampton from Brampton;If 1.6billion doesn't help how much more should we take from the Olympics?

    Bleeding hearts and free money do not make people change their life.

    It was inhumane to have the mentally ill in an instution,so the N.D.P.,closed it,now what?
  15. JMFT S from Coquitlam, Canada writes: I have a son with schizophrenia who lives at home. I know that he is only one mental health relapse away from getting into some kind of serious situation which could lead to a life of poverty. He doesn't drink or do drugs. He is a very decent human being by every standard.

    The difference for him is that he has a supportive family and always has had that. It takes no imagination for me to see that if he hadn't had that through the trials of his illness he could so easily be a homeless person on the DTES. I say his family supports him. Let me be more precise. His immediate family supports him. His uncles, aunts, cousins have practically nothing to do with him since his diagnosis. I am working hard to help him develop connections to his community in general and mental health community in particular so that when I kick the bucket he has a chance to continue to live a good life which is all any decent parent wants for their child.

    Truth be told lives in a bubble and doesn't know it - yet.
  16. A Banana from Canada writes: truth betold from Canada writes: I've got a profile to add: Taxpayer. Born in Alberta. Works for a living. Pays taxes. Doesn't drink and start bar fights. Doesn't do drugs. Helps friends and neighbours. Sick and tired of whiny crackheads who think it's the world's fault that they are losers.

    I hope part of that billion dollars security bill for the Five Ring Circus in 2010 includes rounding up crackheads and putting them on a barge in the Pacific.

    How touching. Perhaps one day you will suffer the misfortune these people had (abusive parents, tragic events, mental illness) then people will overlook you as well as make sarcastic comments about taxes.
  17. A C from Paris, France writes: I guess it's a self selecting subject matter...Why would a hard working taxing paying resident of Alberta care for a slum dweller in East Van after all, let alone read about them, let alone bother to comment on a thread, except to bemoan his own narrow interests (taxes)?

    Finally a thread in the G&M where the majority of posters revile the 'eat the poor' shrill of posters like ' truth betold '
  18. ryan tompkins from Canada writes: It is a sad state to read something from 'truth be told from Canada'... ahh to be so perfect
    Compassion is obviously not a part of your make up. Anger you spout is indiciative of a mental illness, are you aware of that ? Not so perfect after all are you. Raised by an abusive father or mother were you ? To spout disregard and anger such as that, something didn't tick right in your life.
    Those in our DES, are by a very large %, there through no fault of their own. Abuse, mental illness, addictions as a result of childhood and family trauma, is a common thread.
    What B.C. needs, is some of those billions being favoured to host 2010 be set aside for our poverty stricken, mentally ill and addicted. Single mothers attempting to raise their children in a low income cutoff half the national poverty rate, the mentallu ill who suffer from addcitions to escape, and first nations people who continued to be faced with discrimination and racism form people just like you 'thruth be told'. Be careful what you condem, for all are one step, one moment away from suffering.
    What these people need is support, a shoulder to cry on, and a genuine ear to tell their demons too. Never with people like 'thruth be told'... ahh to be so perfect
  19. Cape Breton Cowboy from Mainland NS, Canada writes: sometimes I am disgusted to say I lived with some of these clowns in Alberta. The only reason that Vancouver has a 3rd world slum is because you can sleep outside in the Winter.
    There will never be money for poverty. There will always be taxpayer money for war, for law enforcement, for Pharma and for oil. None of the power brokers ever lobby for the poor. There is no money to be made. The ills of this world will never change regardless of what I or you do. It may change it at a micro level but not at the whole. I have become accustomed to knowing that living a decent life must take from someone elsewhere. You just have to make small changes and find solace in the fact that the human spirit can endure such pain and suffering.
    That must mean something else entirely in Alberta. I guess the taxpayers there don't see the pockets of Pharma, the war machine and every other trough sucker in this country. I almost feel more sorry for post #1 than some of the people in the story.
  20. D BL from Canada writes: When did the Red Cross start paying people to give blood, Mark Hume?

    Man they saw you coming.
  21. Charlotte Creamer from Canada writes: There's no point in trying to help people who don't want to be helped. For people who truly do want help, there are any number of agencies, governmental and non-governmental, as well as organizations and private citizens to assist them. At some point, though, even those whom some of you speak of as if they were sub-human in their comprehension level (and therefore should be coddled and have decisions made for them, like a pet) have to take personal responsibility for the choices that, in part, led them to their predicament. The longer they're treated as victims of circumstances, the longer they'll wallow in self-pity and remain where they are. A case in point is the gentleman from Montreal whose sister is now a social worker. She had the same "alkie" parents as him, but used that unhappy background as a catalyst, not an excuse. My experience has been that if you try to help people simply because YOU want to help them and not because they are particularly interested in being helped, very little if anything will be accomplished.
  22. Wojtek Grabski from Toronto, Canada writes: Have to side with truth be told here. He/she is expressing a very important sentiment that has to be respected, even if disagreed with. Even if one were to accept the lack of personal responsibility in these people's situation, then there is still a lesson from childhood you're all missing.

    Imagine you're in the schoolyard and there two boys: Billy and Johnny. Johnny's parents are hard working loving individuals. They want the best for their child, so they buy him nice things; He has a nice pair of shoes. Billy's parents, on the other hand, are alcoholics, who beat him nightly and got him garbage bags for shoes. He shows marks of pain.

    What you all deride in Johnny, is his unwillingness to give up what he has. So instead of imploring him to show compassion, or giving up your own shoes as an example, you frown on him, and, through 'taxation', propose that if he does not show what you call generosity, then you will hold him down, steal one of his shoes and give it to Billy. If he refuses to be generous, then you will lock him up. If you cannot understand where this kind of behaviour becomes abhorrent, then your parents did not teach you ethical considerations that are the foundation of tolerance.

    Stop complaining that hardworking people aren't as compassionate as you. Give up one of your shoes and show some humility. Envy is perhaps the worst of human vices -- it leads to much worse things.
  23. Gord Adam from the freezin prairie, Canada writes: What is needed to help people kick their life-destroying habits is detox centres where they can go into lockdown for 30 or 60 days, get healthy food, counselling, a clean bed and especially a safe protected place to get through the first few weeks. The cost of arresting and re-arresting people who are hooked til death on crack or needles is prob higher to the country in police etc. than it would to have 1000 beds and a secure facility. Teach em some basic skills and find them a job and an halfway house after release. Its not just charity, its reclamation.
  24. Uncle Fester from Canada writes:
    The G&M is really pushing the lower east side thing again.

    Wait for a fresh story on Insite and what a fantastic job it is doing in harm reduction, if only the conservatives would get behind it! Watch Ignatieff jump into the fray and rework it as a wedge issue.

    With the olympics coming up this could be a great chance for the Liberals to reconnect with their lost social justice ideology.
  25. eli vy from Canada writes: I wish somebody/ media would educate the public about homeless people. A group of doctors in Toronto conducted a study (904 homeless) - the results were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in October 2008. The article is called "The effect of traumatic brain injury on the health of homeless people". The doctors found that: the lifetime prevalence among homeless participants was 53% for any traumatic brain injury and 12% for moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. For 70% of respondents, their brain injury occured before the onset of homelessness. According to the Brain Injury Association of Canada website - doctors are calling brain injury a silent epidemic. The public should keep in mind that most of the people with brain injuries look normal however they are unable to keep jobs and make appropriate decisions. Some of them are unable to control their temper, will use drugs and alcohol. People with mental illnesses can be treated with psychiatric drugs and may get better. People with brain injuries do not have this option. They can get better with rehabilitation but there are a very few programs available in Canada. So next time, any of you is temted to yell at the homeless "Get a job" keep in mind that he may not be able to and that it is our responsibility to provide for him. It is shame that a rich country- Canada has so many people living on the streets. It is easy to suffer brain injury. If your family does not get you into the appropriate programs and rehabilitation (there are very few of them available) - you may end up joining the homeless. Keep in mind that once you suffer one brain injury you are 3x more likely to suffer second brain injury and after the second brain injury the potential for a third increases to eight times of normal average.
  26. leo bloom from radisson, sask, Canada writes: Paper Tigers: Part 1. "I think we are in rat's alley where the dead men lost their bones."(T.S.Eliot) Here's another little profile for truth betold from Canada: An up-and-comer, a hard workin' lad, likely from Alberta, but he's on the coast now, man and look out! He's wheelin' and dealin' (you give him a profession - it's partly your trip - doctor, lawyer, seller of all things grand...) He pays his taxes in spades and sure, he has the odd spritzer at some toni wine-bar, but he doesn't start bar fights and he doesn't drive drunk. And sure, he smokes a little hydroponic weed now and then, but who wouldn't? What? With all his pressures? But it's just for recreation - he's no addict. No way. In fact, he too, is sick and tired of all the whiny crackheads he sees in the evenings on his long, way-out-of-the-way commute home to June and the little Cleavers. Do you think it's easy? You think he feels safe driving around the LES in that Beemer Crossover? Do you really think he LIKES trolling around for a $10 hummer from some loser kid? Not a chance! He's with you, put them all on a leaky barge to nowhere! Then he could just go home after work. Talk to his kids. Help June with the dishes. He hates this place as much as you, truth-be-told. Paper Tigers Part 2. Between the conception And the creation Between the emotion And the response Falls the Shadow(T.S.Eliot) Little men in even smaller glass houses - love nests on the flatlands, really. Oh, everything has a file, and every file a folder and every folder a slot. And it's Canada Grade 'Eh' all summer and a roast of superiority for Sunday dinners - right after the tithes have been doled and the wrongs of the world righted. Who will drive the barge, truth-be-told? The 'losers' can't - they'll just turn 'er around and head for shore. We need some true braveheart - some fearless, highbrow with a decent throwing arm and a good pile of prairie-tarnish stones to set the course. Hummm...I wonder....
  27. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: ryan tompkins from Canada writes: "Single mothers attempting to raise their children..."

    One way to reduce the number of children born into poverty is to reduce the number of children that poor mothers have (obviously)

    Making proof of effective long-term passive birth control (IUD, NorPlant, etc) a condition of accepting welfare money would be a very good start.
  28. Rob Rocket from Canada writes: truth betold suggests: "...rounding up crackheads and putting them on a barge in the Pacific." This is one of the most vicious, hateful statements ever posted on the G&M comments board. Wojtek Grabski adds one of the worst analogies: we are not talking about children on a playground, incapable of understanding and helping, but a world of adults with a capacity to care and act on the care.

    truth betold, FYI, I work and I pay my taxes. I have a drug plan and a supportive wife & family that help me keep my own mental illness from spinning out of control. I will probably never end up in the position of those on the DTSE.
    If you want to put them on a barge and push them out to sea, you vicious, miserable swine, you will probably turn around and complain about your precious tax dollars paying for the gas. Hey! Gas! There's a solution that might appeal to the likes of you!
  29. Harbinger from Out West from Canada writes: Some guy about 2000 years ago, just before he was crucified, was asked why the oil used on him wouldn't help out some poor people. He replied, "You will always have poor people". What a guy, eh? He was right and He was obviously ahead of his time. Go figure.
  30. Harbinger from Out West from Canada writes: I find it very amusing and interesting how many people feel threatened by other peoples opinions. Again, most amusing.
  31. Maximilian Widmaier from East Van, Canada writes: Thanks Mark Hume. Interesting idea and beautiful portraits. I think you have a pretty one dimensional idea of the Downtown East Side, but I suppose this is what most people are expecting from such a story. Be that as it may, interesting and touching piece, especially the photos.
  32. Maximilian Widmaier from East Van, Canada writes: Sorry, my praise should be directed to John Lehmann the photographer. Great portraits.
  33. Dunny Ramsay from Midland, Canada writes: Hmmm. Yes, Harbinger, we will always have the poor. But what do you think should be done? The individual from 2,000 years ago to whom you allude seemed to think the response should be more than a shoulder shrug.

    What do you refer to when you say people are threatened by the opinions of others. If you mean the drubbing given to 'truth betold', he asked for it. And yes, opinions suggesting that the poor and suffering in this world should be shoved onto a barge and cast out to sea are a everything human. I'm all for the expression of such views, though; better to have evil in plain sight.

    BTW, it really doesn't matter much why people suffer; what matters is that they do. Many people suffer as a result of their own mistakes. So what? Are they less in need of help when they seek it? Less deserving of compassion even when they don't?

    Yes, we will always have the poor. We will also always have compassion. Won't we?
  34. Karen Church from Burnaby, Canada writes: Whether you are a tax-paying,hard-working, non-drinking Albertan , or someone who knows someone who suffers from a mental defect, a recovering addict, or if you have come from a life of abuse makes no matter. Your stories are all valid. How do you propose to fix it? It is so overt and tragic. The fact is, it has always been there, but it is so in your face know, and the country's attention on it is more focused than ever, as we are to be the "spotlight" for the 2010 winter olympics. Take a radical solution to a radical problem. Legalise it. Give these people a sense of dignity and see how far it will carry them. Take away the criminal element, and the crime that occurs because someone needs a fix. Think of your insurnace premiums, especially you Mr. Alberta. Some will respond, some won't, but at least it is a beginning. It's a long term proposal for a VERY long term affliction. Pressure your local politician.
  35. John Smith from Vancouver, Canada writes: Anyone who thinks throwing money at drug addicts is going to fix anything really needs a reality check. You fix drug addicts by providing them treatment options and severely cutting back on the wasted millions that have been thrown away in this neighborhood for decades now. Far from being a nightmare, the downtown east side is heaven on earth for addicts. Virtually every block has multiple social services on it. Free drugs, free needles, free food, free lodging, free clothes, recreation opportunities provided by one of the best funded community centers in the city. The place is a dream come true. The 6,000 or so addicts who live there couldn't be more delighted in your concern and wait with anticipation for the truck load of goodies the city and province will soon provide. The recently renovated Pennsylvania Hotel, at $325,000.00 per room, is a good start. The city could have provided them with one bedroom condos at that price, but for now I suppose a tiny efficiency apartment will have to do.

    PS AA, NA and all other 12 step programs never cost anyone a dime.
  36. Danny G from Canada writes: I've heard Dr. Gabor Mate speak (an earlier poster recommended his book) and his observations and studies show that a large majority of troubled people in the downtown east side were doomed before they even had a chance to make choices.

    Most are children of addicts or alcoholics who due to traumatic experiences in early years or exposure in the womb to alcohol or other drugs, lack the ability to produce natural levels of endorphins and dopamine. These are the ones who fail to get themselves out of the slums.
  37. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Danny G from Canada writes:"... children of addicts or alcoholics who due to traumatic experiences in early years or exposure in the womb to alcohol or other drugs..."

    To strike at the root cause of this kind of problem, then, we should insist on proof of functioning long-term passive birth control (NorPlant, IUD, etc) as a condition for applying for welfare money.
  38. Lee C from Vancouver, Canada writes: ASTONISHING COMMENTS WRITTEN by the SELF-RIGHTEOUS who toot their scorn, the ANGRY who camouflage their guilt when passing by the impoverished, the COMPLACENT and RICH who choose to live in 'see no evil hear no evil' glass houses, the BIG CORPORATE HEADS that only salivate on profits and bonuses, how little they can pay their employees then pat themselves for contributions to their pet projects, the INDIFFERENT that over time equate to immunity as they unconsciously relate to the homeless as irritating objects to step over or walk around and finally, those who MEASURE POVERTY around the world to absolve themselves of the understanding, knowledge and care required for those suffering IN THEIR OWN BACK YARDS. What happens to a selfish and unkind society that just continues to make convenient excuses to obsolve themselves of what they know is right and see before them. If a quick fix isn't in the cards, we ignore the problem and somehow hope it will work itself out and go away. We have a responsibility to take the time and resources to learn about those living in poverty around us, in the towns of our country until we can genuinely feel and understand their situation and difficulties from their viewpoint. What happens to a soul along that journey mentally, psychologically, physically and even spiritually and what is their individual plight, how would they like their life to be. Most are afraid of help - there is no trust left - they have a valid reason. How do we change that. We must accept the fact that the plan to change poverty in our cities will cost dearly due to generations of selfishness and deglect by our governments and us as a socieity who have been fortunate in our life's path regardless of difficulties we may have faced. Our first responsibility is for those around us, then go elsewhere.
  39. Cora Beddows from Courtenay, Canada writes: My son lives in Vancouvers Eastside. He is adopted, Aboriginal, has FASD, ADD and is addicted to drugs and alcohol. He spent his first two years with his birth family where alcohol was the drug of choice. We fostered him and his siblings for two years and then adopted the family unit when his parents lost full custody of them. He was a busy little boy and grew up quite contented with his life. Our home was stable and loving. He became troubled as he grew older and began using pot in his late teens. He moved back to his home town and began a relationship with his birth mother when he was 19. He is 30 this year. He phones us once in awhile and it is apparent to us he isn't having a good life. He won't tell us where he lives to hold us away from him, I think because he feels shame. We love him and wish him the best and would help him if we can. I thank the people who help him in prayer and pray for his relief from his addiction every day.
  40. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Cora Beddows... writes:"... FASD, ADD and is addicted to drugs and alcohol. He spent his first two years with his birth family where alcohol was the drug of choice."

    See above; IUD, NorPlant, etc as a condition for accepting welfare money would be a good start to dealing with this sort of problem.
  41. Albert de Goias from Toronto, Canada writes: To Charlotte C, "no point helping people who don't want to be helped". You are right. Efforts go out the window. But isn't there a point in showing people how to WANT to be helped? Drug users are afraid that our help is directed at taking away their only friend. They know the downside of their using but it is less scary than the downside of having to face the inner demons that these drugs keep away from them. A very poignant quote from Edith Piaf came in the movie, "La Vie En Rose". When asked why she took so much morphine, her response was, "That's the only way i can get my body to shut up". Addicts get that way, not because they are bad, foolish, or sick. They may get there, but there was a first time. And the first time usually comes from a need to have an artificial source of gratification or emotional sustenance to fill a void they do not know how to fill naturally. Nothing is wrong with that. We all do it. The addict is just the one who latches onto the artificial thrill because the void is too deep or his skills too poorly developed to address the void. The artificial gratification becomes the only way he knows how. So, the addiction is never cured by drying out in detox centres while the underlying fears fester. It is not the result of brain trauma or mental disease although these can play a part in some cases. The fact is that one cannot help an addict without first teaching him how to build a self-image and self-respect that are internally driven, qualities that have eluded him for reasons that are hidden in his very soul. We cannot help an addict by simplifying his life for him while he still cannot feel good about himself. We can do it only by first showing him how to help himself, not to stop the substance, but to have self-respect in a tough world, even with personal defects. we cannot presume that this is a natural achievement. It has to be learned. And some people really have never been taught.
  42. Jane P from Toronto, Canada writes: GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Cora Beddows... writes:"... FASD, ADD and is addicted to drugs and alcohol. He spent his first two years with his birth family where alcohol was the drug of choice."

    See above; IUD, NorPlant, etc as a condition for accepting welfare money would be a good start to dealing with this sort of problem.


    Therefore, you're assuming that everyone on welfare is an alcoholic/drug addict/unfit parent.
  43. kathy askin from london, Canada writes: It all starts with a small child. Children don't ask to be born and some people do not have the training or comprehension of what it truly takes
    to be a good parent. There should be lots more help at the base level - more programs for kids to get the skills they need to survive and be safe. More preventitive care - that doesn't mean spoon feeding people,
    it means developing well adjusted people who have confidence that they aren't just in this world alone. The system as it stands does not work .... instead of more of the same ... maybe its time to unwind years of half-assed measures and get some people with some real skill sets in their mentoring these little people so they can have the perks that others have had. I think it is the responsibility of
    the village to ensure that the weak get our support - and I don't just mean by handing out money.
  44. David Horvath from edmonton, Canada writes: Been there ,dun that,, finally said I am a goof and why should other people have to support me? Its a free country ,not free drugs,free welfare, take away all the anal retentive social workers who only lied to us on the street, Doc feelgood....... Get a haircut ,get a real job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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