October 17 Event Newmarket Riverwalk Commons

As you may be aware, October 17 is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The internationally marked and United Nations acclaimed day features gatherings world-wide to draw attention to poverty and advocate on behalf.

Special Newmarket Ontario PACC Event

Speakers - Performers - Politicians - Poets - Free Food

For the past 8 years a public event has been held in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada featuring guest speakers, information booths, music / art related to poverty, and most important a microphone for speaking about poverty related issues – particularly those directly affected. In 2012 the location will be shifting north of Fairy Lake to the new Riverwalk Commons, which has both an outdoor stage/area and indoor hall. Traditionally it includes serving up a free meal and hot soup to attendees / passersby.

P.A.C.C., which also acts as the York Region Make Poverty History chapter, has hosted this event in the past along with community partners providing assistance through donations of food service, food, materials, cash donations, or payment through hosting a booth ($100 single - $175 double) at the event. PACC receives no government funding and relies on donations and cooperative partners to ensure this event is held. For 2012 we’d like to see more participation from community groups related to poverty - as the event is a vital tool for advocacy.

This year we hope to attract some additional speakers and booths to help generate fodder for discussion, and to attract and engage politicians through forums including low income home-owner developer presenters and movie / media presentations.

Past participants have included The York Region Food Network, Alliance to end Homelessness, Blue Door Shelters, Canadian Mental Health Y.R., Legal Clinic of York Region, Operation Sparrow, Krasman Centre, Ninos Kom Tin, Talk-2-One messaging systems, Housing Help Centre YR, various churches, performers, poets, politicians, and others.

Should this interest your organization to participate or join our organizing committee, please let us know. You can view more on Oct 17 past years’ highlights via www.povertyacc.com/getinvolved.

Tom Pearson – povertyacc@gmail.com – 289-221-0928
Chairman, Poverty Action for Change Coalition

The Dark Road - Book of Poetry treats depression and addictions

The Dark Road's Author David L. Rogers where he once sat homeless

When you think of 'therapy" for deep depression, anxiety, or drug and alcohol rehab, one doesn't usually think of poetry, but for one man it is just that.

David L. Rogers wrote his book of poetry at a time in his life when he was trying to rid himself of his addiction prone lifestyle that had lead him down so many dead-end roads - often ending with him in jail.

 A resolve to overcome his demons was one thing, and a support network of family, friends/spouse and community helped too, but David needed something more to help him in times when he could feel the old winds blowing.

The poems he subsequently wrote, often act as a reminder as to where he's been and that the dark roads lead nowhere. David feels anyone can relate to the book and that by reading them people then know that they are not alone, that others have felt the same helplessness they have felt and with that knowledge it assists the healing process.

'This Book proves you're not alone. People may say it, but this book proves it. When people read it they can relate to it, and it makes them feel better knowing they're not alone." David L. Rogers

A number of factors came into play that lead David down those roads, with one being an undiagnosed deep depression which he now receives treatment for, but his disposition was rooted as far back as grade school where he and his brothers would be mocked for their "poor" appearance, coming from a low income home with no running water. At one period in time, for about 4 months, as a punishment they'd lock David in a storage room during school lessons, letting him out only for lunch and then back in again he'd go. When he got bigger he lashed out predictably.

I've known the gruff sounding, yet gentle souled David, for a few years now as he volunteered without fail every Thursday at the York Region Food Network, helping to box up and load grocer donated packaged food and toiletries which got distributed to residents in need through delivery via P.A.C.C. as well as some other groups, such as Yellow Brick House abused women's shelter which also picks up donated supplies on occasion.They stopped giving to PACC a year ago or so but David continues to volunteer there.

Although P.A.C.C. doesn't support food-banks as a solution per say - deeming them inadequate, misleading and undignified - they do recognize the desperation some have in obtaining everyday living supplies, and to that end, try to help keep the process as dignified as possible at least.

Mr. Rogers seems to have found some peace at last through poetry, both writing and reading it. His experience reminds me of other types of "art" therapies I've come to know about over the past years from people I've met, such as visual art and photo, but for some, poetry seems to work the magic.
If you'd like to read or share a copy of The Dark Road with someone you care about, contact Author David here! dlrrogers180@gmail.com. Only $15.

Hear readings Oct 17 at Riverwalk Commons Newmarket 7pm as David will be donating 50% of all poetry book sales to P.A.C.C. on Oct 17 - International Day for The Eradication of Poverty.

You can also hear more from David himself through our video interview which we will link for your viewing. Below, an excerpt from "The Dark Road". Tom out!

Lessons Learned

Stumbling and reaching,
Misguided and lost, 
In search of direction,
Opportunities tossed,

Needing a goal,
Wanting to succeed,
Overwhelming emptiness,
Ambition I need,

Motivation is soundless,
So many doors are shut,
Effects seem mindless,
I need out of this rut,

Not using or abusing,
Just confused that's all,
Sorry if it seems so,
I'm just afraid to fall.
David L Rogers
The Dark Road

The Dark Road...a book of poetry to help heal the addicted and depressed.
  P.A.C.C. Report by Tom Pearson