Saskatoon brotherhood provides security, belonging for former homeless man

CBC News, Sep 30, 2015- Home for Justin Bird was underneath some of Saskatoon's bridges.

"I was homeless for a few years of my life," said Bird. "I've lived under the bridges and stuff like that and I got into drugs real hard."

It was his brother, Leonard Saddleback, that showed him a different way.

"He got me off the streets and ever since then I haven't looked back," Bird said.

Saddleback is a new member of the Crazy Indians Brotherhood, a local volunteer organization that gives back to the community. Members of the Brotherhood might look like gang members — they wear black leather vests — but their mission is to help people out.

Seeing his brother Leonard in the Brotherhood made him want to join.

"They've been doing great things," said Bird.

The Brotherhood has provided Bird with a drastic role reversal. Now, he hands out sandwiches to homeless people.

"They look at you kind of weird if you walk up to them and ask them if they want a lunch," he said.

Bird now works full time and has a family of his own. He also has younger kids looking up to him.

"I have younger cousins who have been asking about the Brotherhood and how they can be part of it," he said.

Even though people need to be at least 18 years of age before they join the Brotherhood, Bird thinks its presence in the community will make a difference.

"The younger crowd here in Saskatoon needs more role models like us doing things like this and showing them the right way rather than the wrong way."

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