'Unwanted guest': Note from young homeless woman in Kamloops brings recipient to tears | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Unwanted guest': Note from young homeless woman in Kamloops brings recipient to tears

As the woman left, she left a note behind to thank Phillips for her kindness: "Thank you for being nice, polite, and kind about that I'm truly embarrassed about myself I usual don't let myself get caught slipping that much but anyways thank you for that lil bit of kindness it made me remember that there are still some kind caring ppl in the world thank you don't ever lose that please."
Image Credit: Patti Phillips
October 02, 2020 - 1:00 PM

When Kamloops resident Patti Phillips went to work yesterday morning, she found a young woman using drugs on the property of the North Shore Business Improvement Association. 

"She was on our veranda when I came to work so I asked her if she could clean up her stuff," Phillips said. "We often get people sitting on the veranda, it’s not a big deal."

She said the woman quickly agreed to gather her belongings and move on with no problem. Unsure whether or not the woman had eaten lately, Phillips gave her a granola bar and talked with her briefly. 

"She was wearing a hoodie, she was covering her face, you could tell that she was embarrassed," she said. "She had been doing some drugs, and you could tell sadly that she’s probably ready to get rid of it. But it’s not that easy."

As the woman left, she left a note behind to thank Phillips for her kindness.

The note reads: "Thank you for being nice, polite, and kind about that I'm truly embarrassed about myself I usual don't let myself get caught slipping that much but anyways thank you for that lil bit of kindness it made me remember that there are still some kind caring ppl in the world thank you don't ever lose that please." She signed it: "The unwanted guest."

"When I read the ‘unwanted guest’ at the bottom, I was in tears, it just broke my heart," Phillips said. "I felt so sorry for her. This can happen to anyone, this is someone’s daughter, this is someone’s granddaughter."

Phillips looked for the woman later in the day, hoping to speak with her again, but didn't see her.

"I might (see her) again and if I do, I’ll definitely go over and have a chat with her and see if there’s anything else we can do for her," she said. 

Phillips posted the note to the North Shore Business Improvement Association Facebook page to encourage others to show compassion to the homeless. 

"We don’t know their story," she said. "We shouldn't judge."

Phillips heard firsthand from her friend, Executive Director of Away Home Catherine McParland, what it's like to be homeless and treated with disdain.  

"I remember her telling me what it’s like for people to walk by and pretend you’re invisible, or give you a dirty look like you’re worth nothing," she said. "They’re already so depressed and feel so bad about themselves that they don’t need any more of that. If anything they need to know they do matter."

She added that a lot of the blame falls on the homeless for issues that they very seldom have anything to do with.

"The vandalism and graffiti and whatnot, they’re very seldom caused by the homeless," she said. "The people that do that, they have homes."

She said although the Business Improvement Association is doing what they can to help, homelessness is a bigger, more complex issue than it may seem.

But, anyone can make a difference just by showing some compassion. 

"They're human beings, they deserve respect," she said. "Sometimes we just need to be a little bit more kind."


To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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