Frankie, the guitar player

I met Frankie right outside the doors of one of my sponsors. He was happy to receive some pastries, and did not mind talking to me, except that he was very strict about remaining unidentifiable in any manner. He only allowed me to call him, “Frankie, the guitar player”, which I assume is an alias.

Frankie was actually quite stunned that I returned to talk to him, and even became a bit defensive when he thought that I was another “one of those people” who wanted to take advantage of another’s unfortunate circumstances; however, after hearing me out, he regained his friendly countenance and agreed to talk to me on the condition that I gave him 10 dollars (so he could give to his friend for necessities). I did not have any money on me, but was able to get him to waive his condition by showing/telling him about what I have been doing, to which he approved greatly 🙂

Frankie was an elderly man who had recently become homeless. The issue he wanted to let people know about is the rampant thievery among the homeless populations. Like others I had talked to before, he was the victim of some rather “immoral” midnight robbery. Apparently, his laptop and guitar (worth ~$300) were both taken from him while he was asleep. This upsets him greatly, as his guitar was his primary source of income. He was already down on his luck, and the robbery just added salt to his wounds. The good news is he would be getting another guitar soon, which he plans to treasure more than ever after the recent event.

As I was talking to Frankie, a man came up to him to give him a box of leftover Boston pizza. “Anything helps,” said Frankie, as he took the box. Frankie was patient and friendly with him, but I sensed that he wanted me to leave soon so as not to distract him from his “business”, so I bid him farewell and continued on my way down Burrard. I found a couple of people sitting near the intersections who did not have healthy teeth and who had trouble talking/or refused to, so I gave them some soft pastries and went on my way until I needed to rush to my own engagement~

Hearing that people continue to steal from the homeless was very disheartening. Frankie and I both feel that this act trenches on immorality because it is not only an infringement on people’s privacy but also a complete disregard of the already-disadvantaged conditions some faces. I only hope that the people who resort to this conduct are forced by more dire situations and not purely out of a lack of principles and social inconsideration.

#volunteerism #communityhelping #selfreflections#homelessnessinvancouver #personalthoughts #downtownvancouver

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