Homeless senior sleeping in a shed

A senior who was forced out of his home and onto the street has had the trip from hell the last two weeks.
Charlie Greene, 70, and his dog Patch, 15, who were driven out of their basement apartment in Mount Pearl after a sewer back-up, are now staying in a neighbour's shed. (CBC)

A senior who was forced out of his home and onto the street has had the trip from hell the last two weeks.

Charlie Greene, 70, was driven out of his basement apartment in Mount Pearl after a sewer back-up.

He's currently sleeping on a couch in a neighbour's shed.

"Better than sleeping in a car," he said.

The first night, he slept in a hotel bed, and the second night, he slept in a car. Greene has been couch surfing ever since, and can only stay in his current accommodations until the end of the week.

"If I'd gone down and faced Yukon Harry, that big old wrestler back then, and he body-slammed me 100 times, I probably wouldn't feel as bad as I do now," he said.

Greene is a retired Canada Post worker who spent three decades in Ontario, before coming back to Newfoundland four years ago.

He said his apartment was a good fit because the rent was just the right amount for his small pension.

Greene was offered a bed at the Wiseman Centre, and his 15-year-old dog Patch was offered a kennel at the SPCA.

But Greene said he couldn't be separated his elderly dog, who suffers from anxiety attacks — not after everything they've been through together.

"Three bouts of cancer and one vascular disease in my legs. I had 185 staples in the two legs when I left the hospital," he said.

"The doctor said you got to get up and walk … And the little dog, of course he had to do his stuff, and he really got me walking, and if I didn't have the dog, I wouldn't have gone out."

Greene's possessions are all in boxes, and his credit card is close to being maxed out with his extra expenses.

He said the nearest available apartment would set him back more than half his monthly pension, and it would make it harder for him to use the scooter he needs to get around.

Government offers some help

Greene said he contacted all the authorities he could think of for help.

On Wednesday evening, Greene discovered that the provincial government has now agreed to pay his first month's rent and a damage deposit, once he finds a new apartment.

Greene said he thinks he may have found a place that will suit his needs.