Homeless in Vancouver: Doo-doos and don'ts of homelessness

Near the southwest corner of West Broadway and Hemlock Street, an apartment building manager has spent months shoring up the defensive fortifications of one corner of his property.

First, he tacked up a “no trespassing” sign; then he added three orange traffic cones in front of the sign.

Finally he replaced the cones with a new section of fence to entirely block access from the lane.

All to stop an unseen person from pooping on his property.

The safe assumption is it’s a homeless person—the building manager is positive he knows which homeless person. Unfortunately he’s wrong.

No such thing as an innocent homeless person?

He told me some months ago what was going down on a corner of his property.

He blamed a friend of mine—“the guy” he said I had “warned him to watch out for”.

In fact, I actually told him not to worry after he expressed concerns about the fellow loitering on the alley edge of the property.

Five feet or so back of where my friend would occasionally sit and smoke a cigarette, someone else had been sitting in the trees and shitting.

It was coincidence, but the manager jumped to conclusions and nothing I said on my friend’s behalf could change the guy’s mind.

I was honest with him; I said even the most conscientious homeless person (is my halo on straight?) will pee where they need to—always choosing dirt, like the area he was trying to protect.

He wasn’t pissed about that; it was having to clean up what came out the other end.

At the first opportunity I apprised my homeless friend of the fact he was the manager’s number one suspect.

He declared he hadn’t ever, and didn’t need to—there were several restaurants just around the corner—but I already knew he wasn’t the sort who’d do that.

At least he finally understood why that building manager was giving him the evil eye.

Takes a real poop-head to deliberately foul their own nest

A homeless person has to be particularly incompetent, careless, ignorant or “all of the above” to pull such a crappy stunt on private property, especially where they are seen to spend time—that goes under the category of “fouling your own nest”.

Mind you, emergencies happen, but there are ways to deal with these things.

It’s only happened to me twice—until a body adjusts to digesting the polymers. Egg McMuffins are little ticking digestive time bombs!

Both times I was able to do my business in a high traffic area with no one noticing, in a perfectly hygienic manner, which left no mess whatsoever.

I feel bad about my friend being unfairly tarred as a serial pooper. It’s unfair.

He can say he didn’t do it, but it really is hard to prove a negative. There’s really nothing for it short of DNA testing.

The butler’s dog did it

And wouldn’t you know it, there’s a U.S. company applying DNA testing to the business of matching poo back to what pooped it. But we’re talking dogs, not people— not just yet.

According to various media scoops, Knoxville, Tennessee-based BioPet Vet Lab offers a DNA testing service they call PooPrints to condominium (read gated) communities in both the U.S. and Canada.

As its Web page explains:

PooPrints™ works by storing pet DNA profiles for all of the dogs in the community. DNA is first collected by a cheek swab, and registered online at the DNA World Pet Registry.

After that, if dog dropping are found on the grounds of the community, a sample can be sent back to BioPet and matched against the collected doggie DNA profiles, answering the question “who’s dog did it?”

Dogs are probably just the beginning. If you’re homeless don’t be surprised if one of these days a stranger offers to swab the inside of your cheek.

Comments (8) Add New Comment
What a disgusting read.
Rating: -5
Stanley Q Woodvine
Disgusting. Really? Was it the subject matter or writing style?

But I know what you mean; some things should be kept behind closed doors—but we're talking about homeless living here!

You definitely won't like the update the manager gave me today... about the creep exposing himself to the female tenants. Police even searched for him with a dog last month. The didn't get him, and no word if he exposed himself to the dog (gross!).
Rating: +11
We do not need to know about the fecal adventures of anyone. I really like your blogs and writing style as a matter of fact. I have much compassion for the homeless and it's interesting to me because sometimes you write about the people in my neighborhood. I personally help them out when I can.
What is offensive to me is the one resident camped out near London Drugs who spreads all his filthy trash around and yells at the pedestrians. The garbage and mess he leaves is disgusting.
Rating: -4
Alan Layton
No - you should've been able to decipher the subject of the essay from the title, so if it offends you then you shouldn't have read it. You only have yourself to blame.

As always, I find Stanley's column interesting, informative and well-written.
Rating: +2
Stanley Q Woodvine
"No" may be referring to "Bryan" who's turned the entrance of the former location of SportChek into a kind of trash-filled homeless diorama. He's one of the mentally-ill, impossible-to-house, street elders who I believe deserve the help and forbearance of society. We should first help those who cannot help themselves. And yes he's really annoying.
Rating: +6
If the truth offends thy eye then pluck it out.
Rating: -2
@ Alan - Oh really....
@ Casper - Pluck this

Stanley, I agree. Something has to be done to help the elderly especially under those conditions . You know what I am talking about. It's very sad,filthy and very disturbing.
Rating: +4
Stanley Q Woodvine
Ha Ha -- "Pluck this"

Bryan is the most visible homeless guy on the south side of False Creek. All manner of officialdom probably knows he's there. The fact he continues to be able to be such an eye- and ear-sore, tells me he must be impossible to house or help.

Some binners helped him clean up his spot a few days ago. It really does look much better.
Rating: +3
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