In December, 2014  I felt the need to do something for somebody else.  One of my instructors at BCIT in the Radio Arts and Entertainment Program, told the story of how her cousin was a former patient at the Riverview Mental Hospital in Vancouver. When the hospital was shut down, many patients including her cousin, had no choice but to live on the streets. Eventually, my instructors cousin turned to drugs to cope with everyday struggles homeless people have to deal with. Finally she told us about this one day that she went to the downtown eastside to visit her cousin. He was having an overdose, and she held his hand while he took his last breath.

This story hurt my whole heart.

Later on we discussed, as a class, that it would be beneficial to have private out door showers available to the homeless population

One of my classmates spoke up and said something like “People are too selfish to do anything about it.”

Which made me start to think. I was not too selfish to do something about it. And I wanted to test it out to see if people would step up, in regards to the homelessness issue Vancouver has faced for many years. So I decided to start a social experiment called “#SHOWER2EMPOWER.” I made a short documentary style video of me, helping a homeless women get to a clean shower, by paying for a hotel room for her for a night. Then I took her out for dinner to get to know her better. Then I nominated three people to do something for someone in need and tag their friends on social media by using the hashtag #shower2empower.

Homelessness may be one of those things that we will never find a solution for. However, I believe with all my heart, mind and soul, that humanitarianism and the realization that if we all do something to help those in need can make a difference.


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