Roberto lost his sense of smell when a grenade detonated near him during his home country of El Salvador’s civil war. He moved to Vancouver in '83. After a life of hardships, he always keeps smiling.
Hailing from Six Nations, Ontario, Angie moved here a few months ago to join two of her brothers, and just try something new. The programs on the DTES have been helping them get set up. "My mom's Cree and my dad's Mohawk, so we're just a bunch of Creehawks."
Kai moved to Vancouver from Hong Kong in '69. He and his wife Wendy, married since ’90, are residents of Powell street and act as custodians for the Powell Street Getaway. Wendy doesn't go anywhere without their 8-year-old dog Buddy. Update - Kai and Wendy moved into housing 2 years ago and are thriving.
Jodi is from Ottawa and has been on the DTES for 4 years. Cerebral palsy has not slowed her down as she works part-time as a PHP Programmer.
Marcel, originally from Ottawa but living in Vancouver since '91, had retired with a pension but soon found himself short on money and long on free time. Now he’s using resources around him on the DTES, like resume building classes and Working Gear, to get back into the workforce.
Mouse “Cheech Mouse” is from London, Ontario. As a former cook, he has travelled a lot and is a proud hippie. A few years ago he was rollerblading down a hill and broke his back. With no family, savings or job prospects, he now collects bottles and does custodial work to make ends meet.
“ You can’t stay in the darkness. When you open a closet, the dark doesn’t leave. The light comes in.”