A homeless person and an entrepreneur share common views on youth drug addiction.

Warning: Some readers may be offended by the graphic content.

I was photographing on the street one day when I met Pete who is a homeless man in my community. He may be homeless, but he shines shoes for a living. He was sitting in his makeshift living room anticipating his next customer when I met him. Being a small business owner, I couldn’t help but notice Pete’s ability to reach out to potential clients. He would talk to them and try to connect with them; I could learn a thing or two about marketing from this apparent social outcast. Our initial contact was a jarring at first but eventually I realized we not only shared commonality in entrepreneurship, we also viewed drug addiction among the youth as a serious issue in our community.

On the surface, Pete seemed a little rough around the edges. Every now then, he would rant at passers-by, frustrated at those who would make promises to bring him something only to find out they were “just flakes”. As I was getting to know him, he shouted in a harangue, “CALGARIANS ARE SO DAMN SELFISH!”. It prompted me to find out what he really meant by that.

It took a while for Pete to settle down and for me to understand that his rant was really about how the economic downturn had hurt his bottom line. When times were good, customers would dropped a twenty dollar bill without hesitation. Despite being homeless, he earned a good keep and could afford a healthy supply of shoe polish and brushes. Unfortunately, the good living was also the onset of Pete’s cocaine addiction.

Pete had a “runner” who would regularly pick up discounted polish from a repair shop, and he would pay the runner a small stipend for the errand. Over time, the runner managed to make a consistent living so out of gratitude and in good faith, he gave Pete a small gift in return.

It was the first time Pete had ever tried cocaine. The experience as he recalled, was as if surrendering to a long orgasmic fifteen minutes (a typical amount of time a body takes to process one shot of cocaine). As Pete rambled on about how cocaine is consumed, how much should be consumed, and typically who sold the best stock on the market, I stared at him as if listening intently but all I could imagine was how this drug must have completely gripped his life. If Pete was well into adulthood when he became addicted to cocaine, how was a youth to resist the lure?

Just when I thought I could visualize the devastating effect cocaine could have on a person, Pete leaned into another story about a nineteen-year-old boy whom he had met at a house party. He had just arrived when he saw the boy sitting on the edge of a table. It was dark and smoky, and as they exchanged hellos the scrawny young man with eyes half closed leaned over to inhale a heap of white powder.

“How long have you been at this?”, Pete struck a conversation. “About a year and a half,” the boy replied, “and look what I can do!” With a big grin and groggy eyes, the boy takes another big whiff of cocaine from one nostril provoking a puff of powder to gust from the other. He laughed as Pete gawked in disbelief—the cartilage between boy’s nostrils had completely depleted from excessive sniffing. As I listened to Pete’s story and feeling awkward not knowing how to respond, he sat quietly for a moment afterwards, still affected by the shock, still needing to process the experience, and still needing to let it sink in.

It is difficult to fathom the devastation cocaine has on young people. Pete is free from this addiction today, but not a day goes by he does not think about those beguiling fifteen minutes. The only difference between Pete and the boy he met at the party is that Pete was older, slightly wiser, and in a much better position to help himself. The road to recovery remains a way of life for Pete. If only the same could be said for the boy and others like him.

Photographs by Soul Image Photography. All rights reserved ©2018.

69 thoughts on “A homeless person and an entrepreneur share common views on youth drug addiction.

  1. website link

    I just want to mention I’m beginner to weblog and honestly savored your page. Probably I’m want to bookmark your site . You actually come with incredible articles and reviews. Regards for sharing with us your web site.

  2. Office movers

    Wow, superb blog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you make running a blog glance easy. The total glance of your web site is excellent, let alone the content material!

  3. cubicle installation

    Somebody essentially assist to make significantly articles I would state. That is the very first time I frequented your website page and to this point? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular submit amazing. Great activity!

  4. Virginia braiding salon

    This is the best blog for anyone who needs to find out about this topic. You realize so much its nearly hard to argue with you (not that I truly would need…HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

  5. health and safety statement ireland

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So nice to find any individual with some authentic thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this website is one thing that’s needed on the internet, somebody with just a little originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  6. fire awareness course

    you’re truly a excellent webmaster. The site loading velocity is amazing. It kind of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a great activity on this matter!

  7. W88

    You are my breathing in, I own few blogs and often run out from brand :). “He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past.” by George Orwell.

  8. Bethesda Movers

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  9. Reston Movers

    I’ve been surfing online greater than three hours today, but I by no means found any fascinating article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the web can be much more useful than ever before.

  10. ssni 554

    My spouse and i ended up being very thankful when Peter could complete his analysis because of the precious recommendations he made when using the web page. It is now and again perplexing just to continually be handing out information that many some other people might have been selling. And now we fully understand we have got the writer to appreciate because of that. The entire explanations you’ve made, the straightforward website menu, the friendships you assist to foster – it is everything excellent, and it’s facilitating our son and us recognize that that situation is fun, which is certainly truly indispensable. Thanks for all the pieces!

  11. lean gains

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  12. W88

    Very interesting details you have noted , regards for putting up. “Whatever we conceive well we express clearly, and words flow with ease.” by Nicolas Boileau.

  13. W88 Thailand

    Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  14. stopoverdoseil.org

    Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  15. Charolette Billingsby

    Hi there! This blog post couldn’t be written much better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I will send this post to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  16. 메이저놀이터

    I just like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at once more here regularly. I’m fairly certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  17. Picture Hanging DC

    I must convey my passion for your kindness for those people who actually need assistance with this content. Your very own dedication to getting the message around was surprisingly powerful and has truly encouraged girls much like me to arrive at their endeavors. Your own informative hints and tips implies a lot to me and substantially more to my peers. Thanks a ton; from everyone of us.

  18. series online

    Good – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

  19. Columbia furniture assembly

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely magnificent. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a terrific website.

  20. personal shopping services

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  21. Furniture assembly experts

    I and my friends have been examining the nice thoughts on your site then unexpectedly developed an awful feeling I never thanked the website owner for those techniques. These boys appeared to be absolutely excited to study them and have now clearly been taking advantage of those things. Many thanks for getting indeed helpful as well as for making a decision on certain nice issues most people are really needing to be aware of. Our honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

  22. jokergaming

    Aw, this was a really nice post. In concept I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and precise effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and not at all appear to get one thing done.

  23. pelispedia

    Thanks for the good writeup. It if truth be told was once a leisure account it. Glance advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how can we keep up a correspondence?

  24. film ally

    My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different web page and thought I might check things out. I like what I see so i am just following you. Look forward to exploring your web page again.

  25. best roofer

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  26. uk parcel forwarding

    Hey very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I am happy to find a lot of useful info here in the post, we need work out more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  27. Lane Fredric

    There are some interesting points at some point on this page but I do not know if these people center to heart. There is some validity but I most certainly will take hold opinion until I consider it further. Great post , thanks therefore we want a lot more! Included with FeedBurner also

  28. Gisela Cuchares

    I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own personal blog and would love to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thanks!

  29. Alonzo Hainline

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own site now 😉

  30. Dannie Gallager

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *