He told me that most of the money he made went straight to his rabbits and – er- cigarettes. Ron was almost out of food for them.

Sep 7, 2010

Hot on the trail of Ron’s Story

By Amy Reid, Surrey Now August 31, 2010

Ron Charbonneau caught reporter Amy Reid’s eye on 104th Avenue near King George Boulevard.

Photograph by: Amy Reid, For the Now

It was his sign that caught my eye: “Need a job. Looking fore work. Hard working. Reliable. No addictions. No alcohol.”

I have lived in the downtown Surrey area for a large part of my life. I had never seen a sign quite like this. I thought it was quite the advertising technique. He was walking up 104th Avenue just past King George Boulevard. He looked like he had a tough life but I wasn’t sure if he was homeless.

I turned my van around, hoping I would be able to find him. And I did. I saw him approaching a building at the corner of 104th Avenue and 134th Street.

I came to discover the Surrey Urban Mission operates out of said building, among other groups.

I also came to discover that Ron Charbonneau was his name. And on the side of the road, he told me his story.

Ron went on to tell me about his dog, who was turning 12 this year. He said he rescued the dog from someone in Alberta after seeing it being abused at only nine weeks old. He also told me about his rabbit. They were his babies, he explained, showing me pictures that he always carried with him.

He told me that most of the money he made went straight to his rabbits and – er – cigarettes.

Ron was almost out of food for them, he said. He tried his hardest to fight tears, but a few came anyway.

To see the whole story, click here

Amy Reid is a freelance reporter with the Now newspaper.

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