Another Thursday, and it was a light day today. I had appointments in the morning, one to see the director of an AIDS organization. He seems a good man with noble goals, to serve his community. And I got my application in and sorted out my services schedule.
They have a massage service that is free, once a month, that is scheduled every month so that all the clients get to meet a new masseur each time they come to the Maison.
After that I visited a friend who lives in an old converted convent just a few blocks away from the Maison. All of the religious buildings that once housed congregations of nuns, priests and monks, are designated as Hertitage Structures, which means that they cannot be torn down, and must be re-purposed for community use.
So this convent has been converted into subsidized housing for aging LGBT folks who live in the city. Once you hit the age of sixty, you can apply for housing at this site. The units are smartly designed and decorated. There is a full kitchen, living room, the bedroom is quite small, and a bath.
There is a communal dining area which is located in the former de-sacralized chapel, which is under reconstruction, after a flood that ruined the floors. There is seating for probably a hundred or more on the main floor, and about seventy on the balcony that surrounds the main hall.
During off hours the room is converted into a Disco or Line Dancing party space. My friend plays DJ for these festive dance parties. On the seventh floor, which was the old attic for storage, is located a very smartly decorated lounge/theatre/bar where feature films are shown to the community, as a community event on a weekly basis. Te whole idea and function of this home is to encourage community and forge relationships among residents. A very important need in the elder LGBT community. They are not living alone, but in a newly designed community.
Along with the LGBT housing is a new opened homeless reintegration home, where that part of the building has been converted into low cost subsidized housing for the homeless, and gives them a place to live, instead of a shelter or on the street.
This is the first time I have seen integrated housing for a population that needs so much help. I loved the idea and the service this organization provides to those who are in need.
I came home and did my rounds online, and then watched some HGTV … I do love me some HGTV. I can’t get enough of it. I went through all the channels that we don’t watch and found a set of channels that I wanted. Recently the government changed the rules about cable/HD pricing and ala carte services, so I dropped a bunch of channels and subscribed to the new ones.
All of this is functional so that from this point forwards, I have alternative television to watch, instead of watching Donald Trump on every news channels for hours at a time.
There is a Trump ban in this house. and a N.I.M.B.Y. policy about politics.
If it doesn’t concern us, then we watch something else.
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This evening I met my friend for the meeting. When we got there, my old sponsor rolled up and when he got inside told me about the death of His sponsor, who was living in South East Asia on retirement.
Bill was a great man. He as wise beyond his years, and had been sober more than 60 years. He would pass through Montreal on occasion, coming from our East to the city to visit always on his way to his new home of Asia. Bill was 88 years old So this news was not a shock, but it is still sad. He will be missed by all of us, including my friend who had been friends with Bill for decades.
He will be cremated and his ashes scattered over the ocean out there.
The speaker was from out of town. It was a good share. She talked about the point where we are sober so long and we are discontent and we begin the slump in sobriety. I’ve heard this fact before, and been through it myself. She, got the spark re-lit at the eighteen year mark … Imagine coasting for that long not working the program?
I hit that point at year twelve. Thank God I hit it a lot sooner. I can’t imagine being sad and irritable and discontent in sobriety for that long.
We bid goodbye to our friend Bill and we pray …
Eternal Rest grant him and may Perpetual Light shine upon him.
We will miss you.