Our friend, Mark the Litter Guy, was featured in a story in the Toronto Star last week. If you are anywhere around Queen Street West in Toronto in the Spadina to Bathurst area, then you will be familiar with Mark.
Mark works out on the street all day, sometimes for 10 or more hours picking up litter. No, he doesn’t work for the city, or I should say – he is not employed by the city. But Mark spends his days picking up the litter that lays all over our Toronto city streets. With a broom and seemingly endless supplies of green garbage bags 9for which he depends on donations), Mark is out there cleaning up the mess that other inconsiderate people leave behind. He has a sign affixed to his back that explains to people why he is doing such a job and he’ll accept spare change, or any amount of cash if you think what he is doing is worthwhile. This is not panhandling with a catchy phrase on your cardboard sign – Mark is, in effect self-employed, proof that the free enterprise system is alive and well amongst Toronto’s poor and under-housed and under-employed residents. Mark is an encouragement to his friends and the Queen West small business along the street really appreciate his efforts and contribute to his cause. Still he faces discrimination daily, people name calling and worse. But undaunted, Mark will be out there tomorrow, and the next day…and the next day – proving that the poor don’t need a hand up or a hand out, just a hand extended in appreciation and friendship.
Read the Star article Pickup artist make a clean sweep online.
Filed under: Advocacy, Blogs, Culture, Environment, health, homelessness, Life, News, News Commentary, People, Photos, youth | Tagged: #whyhomeless, community, homelesness, homeless, Life, litter, Mark the Litter Guy, People, photo, poverty, Queen Street, toronto |