Homeless in Vancouver: Taking a tough stand on security gates

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      In fact, it wasn’t all that tough to stand on top of this one particular security gate in the alley on the southeast side of South Granville Street and 10th Avenue.

      All I had to do was jump up on top of a foot-foot concrete wall and take a few steps and I was standing on top of rigid panels of expanded sheet steel mesh, looking straight down on a gated concrete stairwell.

      The steel mesh may have kept me out of the stairwell but it couldn’t entirely prevent my shadow from trespassing on the stairs, pushed through the mesh by the bright blazing sun.

      A fresh perspective on building security

      It was an interesting view. There was my shadow, cast knife-sharp on the steel mesh at my feet and again, much smaller and softer, on the concrete steps, maybe eight feet below the mesh.

      I’m all for this sort of defensive architecture if it provides building residents with peace of mind. I know that in my case, standing there on top of that gated entrance way, I felt a real sense of peace and security (that expanded mesh is amazing; easily strong enough to support three times my weight). 

      A similar gated entrance sitting at a right angle to the one that I was standing on.
      Stanley Q. Woodvine
      Stanley Q. Woodvine is a homeless resident of Vancouver who has worked in the past as an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer. Follow Stanley on Twitter at @sqwabb.