After 10 years in the street, he breathes the following

News 11 December, 2017
  • Photo Catherine Montambeault
    Joey Gallant has been homeless for 10 years. He is now supervisor of the deposit, and donations of equipment to the body In the street, which helps the homeless youth of Montreal. This organization has stretched the hand when he was unprepared.

    Catherine Montambeault

    Monday, December 11, 2017 01:00

    Monday, December 11, 2017 01:00

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    When Joey Gallant distributes clothing to homeless youth, he cannot help but recognize themselves through them. Himself having quêté in the street for more than 10 years, the Montreal works today to give back to the next.

    Joey Gallant was only 15 years old when he began to sleep on park benches and in abandoned buildings in Moncton, New Brunswick.

    “At that time, I had a place to live, but life at home was horrible. Then I preferred to be elsewhere, ” recalls the man now 34-year-old who is a supervisor of the filing of clothes to the body In the street.

    Mother died of cancer, mother-in-law is abusive and a father who turns a blind eye to the violence suffered by his two sons : the family situation of the young man was far from enviable.

    “My father was worried for me, then he came to see me and he gave me the sub that I had something to eat,” says Mr Gallant.

    As soon as he got his high school diploma, at 19 years of age, the young punk at the mighty mohawk is a party on the go in Ontario with friends. He then wandered off for several years to the four corners of Canada, in quêtant to survive.

    Alcohol and fights

    To listen Joey Gallant recount the beginning of his twenties to travel without a penny, and sleeping under the stars with the friends that he made on the road, you could almost believe that roaming is nice. An impression that the man is eager to dispel.

    “During this time, I developed a big drinking problem, I was beat by the world, the homeless and the police, I was depressed,” he said. I once spent three days on the edge of the highway in the month of December to do the thumb without making me pick it up. I was in bare feet because my caps of steel were colder than the ground. “

    He adds that after having spent a good time in the street, it is not enough to snap your fingers to get out of this precarious situation.

    “At times, I was trying to stay at a place and find me a job, but I was poorly dressed, dirty I was, I had no housing, then nobody wanted to hire me “, he says.

    “That’s the fact that it is complicated to get out of the street : you can’t start with nothing, you need a door that opens somewhere,” he continues. In fact, it is almost impossible to get by without a lot of support. “

    Dog rescued

    This support, Joey Gallant was found in 2005 in the montreal organization In the street. At the time, his dog Rhea had broken a leg and the operation to save cost 5000 $, a sum of money that the homeless was far from possessing.

    The organization that helps the homeless youth has found a veterinarian willing to treat the animal at a reduced price, in addition to paying almost all of the operation. A gesture that Joey has never forgotten, even after Rhea died five years later.

    After the operation, Mr. Gallant did two weeks of volunteer work for them In the street. He then launched into a programme of employability of six months offered by the organization. Then, in 2013, after having worked at a few jobs across the country, the milf has been engaged as supervisor of material gifts.

    Today, he takes care of homeless youth who, like him, formerly, following the employability program. It is also responsible for the warehouse where are stacked dozens of donation boxes, containing clothes, hygiene products and non-perishable food items.

    “What people In the street have given me, it’s the difference between looking at the floor when you walk and look in front of you,” he said. This is what I found here, and this is what I’m trying to give my kids now. “