Rhoda’s Story of Homelessness and HIV in Saskatoon

When Mark Horvath of Invisible People was in Saskatoon, he took this video of Rhoda, who was at St. Paul’s Hospital at the time.

This what Mark wrote about the video.

“I kind of got used to living in jail because I had food to eat and a place to sleep” are words that should never come out of anyone’s mouth, especially not a gorgeous twenty seven year-old woman who has been homeless since fourteen.

601 Outreach Centre, a part of AIDS Saskatoon, took me to a local hospital where I was introduced to Rhoda. I get a little messed up with each homeless story, but Rhoda wrecked me. Besides sharing a candid story of drug use and homelessness, Rhoda insisted we go see where she lived before being admitted to the hospital, and where she will be living when the hospital feels she is “healthy” enough to be released. It’s a tent in a wooded area down a dirt road http://bit.ly/qDTkDS

PLEASE listen to this strong woman share her powerful story. It is not acceptable that hospitals, or jails, or any institution, knowingly exit people to the streets. The good news here is Rhoda’s grandmother said her and her husband can come live with her.

Point blank here! We need support for drug addicts long before they get HIV and years of street life destroys the person they should have become. Drug abuse is a result not a cause. As a young girl Rhoda felt the need to escape, and there was a point where the drugs took over. When I was an addict I needed drugs more than I needed air. How do we help people like Rhoda before it’s too late?

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