Saskatoon man relives troubling past after seeing shocking homeless photo

CBC News, Sep 17, 2015 - A photo making the rounds on social media conjured up dark memories for Chris Moyah.

"I just think we need to help."- Chris Moyah 

"It was a sad image to see," he told Saskatoon Morning's Leisha Grebinski.

The photo, captured by CBC reporter Dan Zakreski on a dark, cold morning, shows five people sleeping on the hard floor of an ATM foyer at a downtown bank in Saskatoon.

A group of people found a place to sleep in the front entrance area of the First Nations Bank in Saskatoon. (Dan Zakreski/CBC)

Moyah knows first-hand the struggle of life on the streets. In 2011, Moyah was kicked out of the home he was living in and with nowhere else to go he found himself living under a bridge. It was a two month struggle he will never forget.

"Several times I had to get myself thrown in jail just so I could get a decent sleep," he said.

Addictions are often a factor

When asked how he was able to cope with life on the streets, Moyah answered with brutal honesty.

"Drugs and alcohol…"

And although he laughed it off, addictions were a big problem for Moyah because most shelters require that a person be sober before checking in. He believes that's the story for many people who are homeless on the streets. But while Moyah's situation was bleak, he was not without hope.

"I just said I'm not going to be homeless anymore, screw that!"

Moyah moved home to the reserve and found shelter with his family. He's now living in Saskatoon and is studying to be an addictions counsellor.  He hopes that the image of the five people sleeping in the bank will lead to a stronger sense of compassion in the city.

"They are somebody, you know? I just think we need to help."

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