Sit Fido, Sit

To receive charity you must be willing to beg for it. This is often referred to as swallowing one’s pride. Really it is the systematic peeling away of self-esteem and dignity that reduces the Human Being to a less than Human entity. And people are supposed to be grateful.


T J Therien

The Un-Entitled

Get this straight,
In the US Healthcare is not a Right
It is an entitlement
And the entitlement is determined along economic lines
This entitlement creates a second class of citizen
The swath of people who cannot afford such entitlements
As seeing a doctor when they have a chronic cough
Or when they pull a muscle at work
Or when they fell down the stairs that one time they were drunk and stupid
Let alone afford their blood pressure medication
Or the baby aspirin that might keep a stroke or heart attack at bay.
Some people just aren’t entitled to those things
They can’t afford to get sick and miss work,
Let alone afford the care to get better
And so they suffer and continue to suffer
And so it shall be for the foreseeable future
T J Therien

Excerpt from the Essay “Clinically Speaking”


“The way to cure our social ails is to treat them on the level of the individual, one person at a time and to also put into place measures that prevent the need for future intervention. But first our Society must be sterilized of the stigma that plagues it and the marginalized must be seen as complete people. We have to stop classifying people because each person is different and each person deserves to have their individuality respected. We are not cattle to be herded. That only leads to the slaughter. A system designed to address social issues on a macro scale will always fail because social problems will always cause unique individual problems which continue to be over looked.”

T J Therien

The New Astrology


Poverty and Privilege are Birthrights
They are the Signs under which we were born
This is the New Astrology
And it has nothing to do with the way the stars are aligned
You don’t need a Seer, or a Reader of Tarot or Tea Leaves
To predict the outcome of a child born to poor parents
Sure, some will climb out of Poverty and into Prosperity
But this is the exception, not the rule

T J Therien

An Open Letter to Toronto Mayor John Tory;

(Please insert whatever Honorific by which you wish to be addressed here.)


I am writing because I am shocked to learn of a new mandate for Streets to Homes workers to NOT intervene in cases of the recently homeless. Is it honestly the City’s position to strip someone of their dignity, self-respect and to deliberately put them at risk of violence, sexual assault and human trafficking before offering assistance? Because that is what this policy change does. It has come to me through the grapevine, through sources I will not name, that Streets to Homes Workers will not intervene until someone is Homeless for 3 months. Mr. Mayor this is 3 months too long.


This I find extremely shocking after receiving the assurances of one of your aides, ”The Mayor is working to increase shelter beds, build affordable rental housing and improve TCHC. His interest in ending homelessness is not political rehtoric and he is determined to make an impact on the issue,” Matt, Special Assistant, Office of the Mayor. His words exactly, I have not even corrected his spelling error in our correspondence.


Mr. Mayor, put yourself in the shoes of the recently homeless, you are new to the streets, never been there before, you got no money, no nothing. You are scared, frightened, absolutely terrified and don’t give me any macho bullshit. You can’t turn to the police for protection; they look at you like a suspect and a criminal. It doesn’t matter that you have committed no crime. Where do you honestly turn? Do you go to Maxwell Meigen where you might wake up to someone caving in your skull with a fire extinguisher? Where can you be safe? City Hall has security, but you can’t camp out there because you will get fined and chased away. What are you going to do? Someone with sinister motives reaches out to you and offers to help you, to protect you…and that is where the nightmare really begins.


You see, Mr. Mayor, the sooner we can intervene, the sooner we get people housed, the less repairing of those people is needed. The longer you wait to intervene means there will be a greater degree of Post-Traumatic Stress. Quicker intervention means reduced strain on an already strained medical system. Also the quicker the intervention the quicker the person returns to being a contributing member of society.


I’m not suggesting preference be given to the recently homeless, nor should there be preference for those who have been chronically homeless. Preference should probably start with those most wanting to remedy their situation, but at the end of the day every single homeless person needs to be housed.


Holding You to Your Word


Timothy James Therien