ROBIN KUNISKI/for Metro Calgary
Calgary ranked the highest in North America in violence against homeless people according to a recent report by the Calgary Homeless Foundation.
Charlie Zigglar was minding his own businesses when he accidentally flashed a $20 bill, a dangerous act when you’re hanging out by the Calgary Drop-in Centre.
Zigglar was then attacked and mugged by a fellow homeless man who struck him down with a baseball bat and today Zigglar hobbles around on crutches outside the centre.
“People that are homeless stick together because they have to take care of each other. But then some psycho comes along and ruins it,” said the 41-year-old Zigglar. “I would like to get out of this city. I find it extremely out of control.”
According to a report released by the Calgary Homeless Foundation, Zigglar is not alone in his concerns. Almost half of the 137 people surveyed by the foundation said they have been a victim of a violent attack since they’ve become homeless.
A previous study released in September by the Drop-in Centre said about 75 per cent of its clients have been the victim of at least one attack.
“Most violence goes unreported,” said Louise Gallagher, director of public relations at the Drop-in Centre. She said that homeless people are paranoid about the police, and view them as the bad guy. “So the dealers, for example, have a sense of immunity because of it.”
Calgary’s rate of violence against homeless was the highest in North America, according to the report.