Legal Stuff

This site is created through Blogger, so I am legally required to inform you this blog uses cookies. I'm not a techie, so I can't detail all the consequences, but you've been warned.

PovPolPodcast Episode 4: Don't Design to Relocate, Design to Create!

Saturday, 11 July 2020

More of Nigel's rants. Today he discusses a failed pilot project in Winnipeg to keep the homeless from sleeping under bridges, proposes that Universal Basic Income could be good for businesses, and gives a reader's digest summary of Standpoint Theory. And of course, a Lightning Round! Written and Produced by Nigel Kirk. Support us on Ko-Fi: Music: "Poor Boy" by Pedro Santiago

Read more ...

PovPolPodcast Episode 3: How to Alienate Everyone who's Ever Loved You Using Only Words

Sunday, 28 June 2020

In Today's Episode, Nigel mentions the one part of Vocational Charter Schools that no one will - and it's pretty frightening. He also talks about potential mask laws and how that might criminalize the poor and during the Lightning round has a controversial take on Alberta's proposal to form militias.

Support us on Ko-Fi:

Music: "Poor Boy" by Pedro Santiago. Used under CC 4.0 License.

Read more ...

PovPolPodcast Episode 2: A Humanazing Perspectives of Homelessness

Friday, 19 June 2020

Nigel passes his thoughts about shelters cutting important programs for the homeless community, how the NDP got decriminalization of poverty backwards, and of course, a lightning round! Support us on Ko-Fi: Music: "Poor Boy" by Pedro Santiago.

Read more ...

PovPolPodcast Episode 1: Ranting about the News

Friday, 12 June 2020

Nigel rants about a the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts it has on people in poverty, racism in Calgary and in Canada, as well as the demonstrations in the States.
Written and Produced by Nigel Kirk. Support us on Ko-Fi: Music: "Poor Boy" by Pedro Santiago

Read more ...

New Feature on my Site!

Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Hey! Been a long time! I've added a hostile design map to my site! It's only a few items right now, but I hope to see it grow! MapHubs doesn't have an open collaborative feature yet, so I'm going to be relying on your help to add more examples of hostile design to the map. Details (and the map) can be found here: Hostile Design Map Calgary

As always, if you wish to support me and my work, feel free to click on the "I'm Panhandling" button to go to my paypal. I will update the button shortly, since photobucket has decided to watermark everything I uploaded. Thank you all!
Read more ...

Longest Night of the Year

Monday, 18 December 2017
This Thursday, I will have the honor of being the emcee for this year's Longest Night of the Year Ceremony. So I wanted to discuss a little about what Longest Night means to me, and why it's important the homeless have their own day of memory.

You see, the first Longest Night in Calgary was four years ago. It was unsanctioned, but then again, Circle Park (aka James Short Park) has vagrancy rights, so we didn't need a permit for just a small gathering. It was a bunch of friends and myself sitting in a section of the park with lit candles and coffee and sharing stories of people we loved and missed. All of us had lost someone. Almost anyone who's survived on the streets for any length of time will have lost someone.

Thankfully, no one stopped us - turns out we actually did need permits for the lit candles - and throughout the night people joined us as they became curious as to what we were doing, shared stories of their own, and even shed some tears. It became clear that people on the streets needed a way to grieve and to mourn.

There is a reason I refer to myself as a 'Survivor' of homelessness, and use the term for other who have been homeless. People who are homeless are more likely to die from almost every cause. More likely to die from addictions and overdoses, more likely to die of illness, more likely to be a victim of homicide, both premeditated and as a random act of violence or hate crime, more likely to commit suicide. There is also the constant threat of exposure to the cold. There is no real hospice care for the homeless, though some doctors hit the streets directly and try their best. No opportunity to live in dignity or die in dignity. Many funeral homes go empty as friends who would love to attend are often never made aware of funeral arrangements, or are themselves trying their best to survive or work. To honor their memory one night a year might be the only dignity they would ever be granted.

These are not just people experiencing homelessness. They are brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts and grandparents. They are friends. They are street family and blood family.

These are just some of the members of my street family I remember every year in no particular order:

I miss each of you every single day. Godspeed my chosen family.

The 2017 Longest Night of the Year Homeless Memorial Service will be held on Dec. 21st at 5pm at Shaw Millennium Park in Calgary. I wish to thank the members of the Client Action Committee at the Calgary Homeless Foundation for fighting with me to make this a reality. All are welcome to join, whether homeless, a survivor of homelessness, family of someone homelessness, friend of someone homeless, or anyone else wishing to pay their respects and honor our loved ones and friends.
Read more ...

RELEASE: A Response to the National Housing Strategy

Thursday, 23 November 2017
For the past couple of days, people have been wanting to know my response to the National Housing Strategy revealed by Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Government, so here I have prepared my response:


A National Housing Strategy is long overdue, so while I'm grateful for the discussion on the subject, and the acknowledgement of the homelessness crisis in Canada, this is NOT the strategy we need.

There are good things in the strategy, to be sure. The Government has finally decided that the right to housing be guaranteed and recognized. The UN has been reminding us of this constantly and if you ask any homeless person in Canada, I don't know a single one of them who would deny wanting a home and needing one. I acknowledge that this is a step in the right direction. Additionally, for many organizations that provide affordable housing, updates are greatly needed. There are too many spaces sitting empty right now because they need refurbishment and funds to upgrade those units are desperately needed.

However, my view about the strategy as a whole is that it falls far short of what is needed in this country. Members of the homeless community are dying every day in Canada, and the Government would have us wait until after the next election - almost two years away - before making any commitments. The homeless cannot afford to wait.

Furthermore, a previous private members bill regarding a National Housing Strategy - that all but four Governing MPs voted against - included amending the Canadian Human Rights act to include protected status from discrimination against the homeless community. The proposed strategy as far as I've read includes no such measure. What this means is that the Liberal Government literally voted against human rights for the homeless community, and have endorsed continuous acts of hate crimes, violence, abuse, mistreatment, segregation against the homeless community. This is not just simply a class issue. Indigenous peoples make up a disproportionately large amount of the homeless population in Canada. Women are often homeless because they are fleeing abuse, or struggling to make ends meet as single parents. This is a class issue, yes. But it is also a race issue. A gender issue. This means that people who would normally be protected under the Charter are not protected, strictly because they are homeless and the Government has determined it is okay to discriminate and abuse members of the homeless Community.

And with the strategy only calling for a 50% reduction in homelessness, that still leaves a large number of homeless individuals who need protections.

In short, this strategy falls far short of it's potential and does not do enough to protect the homeless community. I call on the government to not only implement protections for our societies most vulnerable, but to enact them immediately.

Nigel Kirk
Read more ...