It’s 1am. Most are asleep. Myke is walking the streets of New West and Burnaby filling his pockets* with used crack pipes, syringes and other pieces of drug paraphernalia. People have called the Police on him because he has been seen reaching through gates, foraging around dumpsters and dark corners picking up syringes. No matter how cold and wet it is, he goes out religiously to do his rounds cleaning up our streets.
For four to six hours, every single day, for the past five years, Myke has walked from Downtown New West to Queensborough Bridge, 20th Street to 10th Avenue to Edmonds and Kingsway to Canada Way, 6th and McBride to Braid Street Skytrain Station and Sapperton, cleaning up after a crowd most don’t want to see or don’t know what to do with. In a course of a week, he picks up an average of 500 pieces of used drug paraphernalia off alleys, around dumpsters, railway tracks, streets and our parks. His motivation isn’t driven by a pay cheque because he isn’t being paid to do this. He is driven by a personal sense of obligation to keep the community he lives in safe. He may not be able to stop people from using drugs but he can keep users safe from reusing supplies and the rest of the community out of harm’s way.
Myke is happy if he can play a small part in saving one person’s life from the heartache of furthering drug addiction. The heartache he knows all too well.
Myke has lived a privileged life. His father owned numerous logging companies throughout the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. His mother was a high-end escort who worked at different hotels in Vancouver. Perhaps from the perspective of some, Myke was exposed to an atypical childhood but in his mind, this was the only life he knew and with innocence, he enjoyed it. Continue reading “Meet Myke”