Everyone has a name.
Everyone has a history.
Everyone deserves to be remembered.
My heart ached a bit when I learned how 71 year old Bill Buss died. He died alone, curled up in a boarded-up cubby hole under a stairwell in downtown Toronto. I knew Bill from the Good Neighbours' Club. Some three weeks after his decomposed remains were found his identity remained a mystery.
Lauro Monteiro, director of operations at GNC, says Buss lived the final decades of his life "rough on the streets"- an expression for a homeless person in our city core who does not seek refuge in shelters available to them. I have spent time speaking with Bill and I know that he was not alone in turning down offers of a warm place to sleep - they would rather be on the streets for reasons of their own.
At the risk of upsetting anyone, and that is not my intent - let's take care of our own right here in Toronto, and in fact right here in Canada and then look after others. There is much we need to do at home.
Think of Bill for a second or two today.