Participant bio – Paul Woodhouse

Name: Paul Woodhouse

Location Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Job: I’m the Programme Coordinator for Humanities 101 Community Programme at UBC http://
humanities101.arts.ubc.ca/

Why: Hum101 is a free university programme for residents of the DTES/South, who live on low incomes and have experienced barriers to education. Twice a week students come out to UBC and participate in classes covering all the liberal arts, with a different volunteer teacher each week. I’ve been doing this job for 4 years now and the students have been such a massive inspiration to me. There eagerness and willingness to learn and participate in class whilst facing all the challenges they have living on welfare is worthy of admiration. Students often comment how the meals they eat at UBC (we provide meal vouchers to eat at the Student Union building) are often the best meal they eat all week.

Worries: Sticking to the $26. I had no other worries about taking the challenge. I have a nice kitchen and lots of good cooking utensils and a fridge to store my food.

So far: I have managed to get through the week without any interruption to my normal life. I’m constantly hungry though, even after I’ve eaten. My energy is way lower than it normally would be which makes me quite tired. Other than that it’s been okay, although far from desirable. If I had to carry on for another week this story would be so much different. The fact it is only for one week is what is keeping me going. Two weeks and I’d be a mess. The hunger is manageable now but in a few more days it would reach a point where all aspects of my life would be deeply impacted.

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