Monday, 21 January 2013

The best and worst of humanity in one day

One of my favourite parts of journalism is talking to people from all walks of life.

On Sunday I was working at the Metro and my day started with a cop presser. I've been to enough of these to know that they usually consist of stories about the worst that humanity has to offer and this presser was no different.

After sitting in the cop media room and learning about a man that was almost beaten to death in his sleep, a guy who committed seven robberies with a weapon, and a man at HSC that was acting so out of control that they had to close down an entire road in front of the hospital, I was asked to go take some pictures in front of Siloam Mission for a story about the cold weather.

Walking up to the Siloam Mission building with a camera around my neck was an extremely uncomfortable feeling. Here are a bunch of people that are homeless and desperate for a place to warm up, and here I am with a huge camera asking them if I can take their pictures.

I was given one no after another when asking people if I can take their picture until a women named Louise walked out the door. I was expecting her to tell me to go away but when I asked her about taking a picture she flashed me a big smile. I explained to her we were trying to get some attention to Siloam Mission about the effect cold weather has on the homeless, and that was when she really opened up to me.

She told me about how she was homeless and how the mission has been so good to her. She told me about how friendly the people were to her and said she probably wouldn't survive without the mission.

In the picture I took she looks extremely cold but she never complained because she was too busy telling me how amazing Siloam Mission is.

After talking to her I went into the mission and talked to some of the staff. I saw volunteers working their asses off to make sure people were comfortable, and I know that for many they are not paid and get little recognition.  
After seeing the worst of humanity at the cop presser I saw the best of it at Siloam Mission.