Allan Par probably didn’t think he’d end up unemployed and homeless when he got on a plane to go to Winnipeg, Manitoba. A social worker from Manila, he used to teach unemployed Filipinos basic computer skills to help them look for work.
FROM HELPING UNEMPLOYED TO BEING UNEMPLOYED AND HOMELESS
Now he’s unemployed and homeless and living in a shack he build using scrap materials.
Speaking to award-winning journalist, Bryce Hoye of CBC News, Par said he liked living alone in his two room shanty underneath a bridge beside a creek in Winnipeg’s St. James area.
He spoke with Hoye about how he ended up on the streets; a combination of bad luck and being so far away from home, Par was left with no choice but to improvise.
“I suffer from stress because there’s a lot … that discriminate against me and sometimes they hurt me,” Par told Hoye. “I expected … here in Canada, I have a better job, I have a better work, I have a better life, but it’s the reverse.”
NO MONEY, NO JOB
He chose to live in the industrial area, far away from downtown Winnipeg’s homeless shelters and food banks because he finds it safer.
Par said he was sponsored nine years ago from the Philippines, and worked odd jobs for the first three years after his arrival, but was never able to hold steady employment.
After his relationship with his sponsors deteriorated, with no money and no job, he soon found himself on the streets.
POLICE CONNECT FILIPINO WITH COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Winnipeg Police were called to Par’s shack recently after a disturbance complaint was made. Constable Brian Boyd, who has been looking in on Par, sympathizes with his’s predicament.
Winnipeg Police has arranged for a social worker to visit the homeless Filipino. A referral has since been made to a local community organization that provides shelter for the homeless.
Main Street Project is now working with Par to help him find a more permanent living arrangement.
Representatives from the community organization cite the lack of options in Winnipeg complicating the situation.
A ROSARY AND A CD PLAYER
Building structures such as his shack is against city bylaws, said representatives from the City of Winnipeg. In an emailed statement to CBC News, the city said that they are working with community organizations to make sure that cases like Par’s are handled with the utmost care.
In the meantime, the unemployed and homeless Filipino said that he will continue on improving his home while the weather is warm.
Par told Hoye that his faith is what keeps him alive, “Every time I am stressed, I pray. My life here in Canada is very, very poor.”
He continues to hope to find a job soon, but is discouraged after years of living on the street.
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