Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer. Darron Goebel accepts donations on Alexander Street in hopes of buying a new tent after his previous one was burned up in a fire.

Homeless man dreams of helping others

With a reliable place, ‘surviving wouldn’t be so hard.’

Darron Goebel worries about housing, but not about how to handle a mortgage or if he’ll be able to pay his hydro bill on time.

This particular Friday, as he sits on the sidewalk on Alexander Street in Salmon Arm, he’s wondering if he can get together $15 to buy a tent at the thrift store before it closes. As he talks, a couple of passersby stop to give him food. He looks thin and his teeth are missing.

Goebel is a member of the homeless population that has become the norm, a fixture in this town, province and country.

He has been staying mostly at the Salvation Army’s Lighthouse Shelter this winter, but that ended on Saturday, April 1, the day the shelter closed for the season.

Goebel says his propane heater fell over and his tent caught fire the day before. He is grateful he managed to escape the blaze unscathed.

He’s not too worried about finding a place to pitch a tent, and points out that if he can get a note from welfare, he can tent in a provincial park for free.

He says he gets work once in a while, doesn’t receive government assistance and “I refuse crime.”

He can’t get assistance, he says, because he doesn’t have proof of residence. Also, to get work, he needs to be situated somewhere.

“It’d be nice to have my own shower facility.”

Goebel is a labourer.

“If I got some work, I’d be happy.”

Goebel doesn’t talk about how he ended up homeless, but does say his family life was rough growing up.

And being homeless isn’t all bad, he offers.

“I love my clarity, my independence and clarity.”

Goebel muses that if he won the lottery, he’d build a place for homeless people.

“I’d build a house for everyone to have something to look forward to at the end of the day. Three meals a day, plus somewhere to rest. If they had a reliable place to go to, surviving wouldn’t be so hard.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

No abandoned Seadoo found on Okanagan lake

Vernon Search and Rescue crews and RCMP unable to find reported abandoned Seadoo on Kal Lake

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Rainy June leads to another rise in Shuswap level

The level of the lake has peak and fallen again three times this year.

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Summerland campground to provide COVID-safe accommodations for temporary farm-workers

The managed seasonal worker campsite will be located within a separated area of Peach Orchard Municipal Campground

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Kelowna high school football star, water skier, signs with University of Calgary

Isaac Athans, and his family, have a long history of success across various sports in the Okanagan, nationally

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Police searching for missing Lake Country man

David Anthony Jenken, 65, was reported missing Friday and was last seen on June 28

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read