Crazy Sh*t Volume 4: The Last of 2015

As the first blog of 2016, I offer you the final instalment of all of the crazy shit I have heard people say, had emailed to me, or witnessed in my travels in the last quarter of 2015.

Do you find inspiration from people like Barbra Streisand or Anne Murray?

No. Though I will say that is one of the oddest questions I have been asked person from Montreal.


Do you know any organization that needs 50 turkeys for Christmas dinner? I would love to have some help getting mine slaughtered and thought if an organization could send me their homeless I could teach them how to help out and in return give the organization some free, fresh turkeys.

No. And I have nothing else to say Pennsylvania weirdo.


What is the best colour to paint the waiting room where people are going to do intakes?

Apparently you have mistaken me for Ty Pennington.


If you could have one person narrate all of your blogs for a podcast, who would that be?

James Earl Jones.


If you are going through a client’s belongings at intake and you see a bunch of money but they tell you that they do not have money, is it a good idea to take the money and put it in trust for them because they clearly do not understand the importance of money? I am talking hundreds of dollars.

There is a word for taking things from a person against their will, consent or knowledge – “stealing”. Unless you believe there is some type of benevolent theft (there isn’t) you can engage with the person about it and figure out what they want. This assumes, of course, that you have some super duper legitimate reason for digging through people’s stuff.


What is the appropriate length of time to kick someone out of shelter if they tell staff to “f off”?

If, by “f off” you mean “fuck off” I would go with a solid zero days. It is a word. Just a fucking word. It may be unpleasant to you. It may be inappropriate to say at some times or in certain situations. But it is just a word. I think we should restrict any service restriction to more serious matters than “fuck off”. Does that making any fucking sense at all?


In your experience, what is more popular amongst the homeless that do prostitution: rusty trombones or snowballs?

You can always tell the person that was just a little too excited by the Recovery and Wellness training because you get emails like this one afterward. Well, person from Florida, why do you want to know? And don’t think I forgot that you were the same person in the training that asked why there is no market for golden showers anymore.


If you met a person when doing outreach that thought was a Muslim terrorist posing as a person that is homeless, how would you confront or detain them but not lose trust from the other homeless people that are in the tent city?

I happen to think that police should do policing and outreach workers should do outreaching.


When you provide a software company like ours a world-wide royalty free license to input the VI-SPDAT into HMIS, where can we make it available and how much do we owe you each year?

Apparently “world wide” and “royalty free” were too obvious. So I wrote back “The planet earth is where it can be used. We are owed nothing each year.” To which they responded “Can we set up a time to call and get into the finer details of this?”

About Iain De Jong

Leader. Edutainer. Coach. Consultant. Professor. Researcher. Blogger. Do-gooder. Potty mouth. Positive disruptor. Relentless advocate for social justice. Comedian. Dad. Minimalist. Recovering musician. Canadian citizen. International jetsetter. Living life in jeans and a t-shirt. Trying really hard to end homelessness in developed countries around the world, expand harm reduction practices, make housing happen, and reform the justice system. Driven by change, fuelled by passion. Winner of a shit ton of prestigious awards, none of which matter unless change happens in how we think about vulnerability, marginality, and inclusion.

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