My name is Neil Hamell. I am 40 years old and this is my story in short…
I was born Oct 22, 1975 in St. Catherines ON. At a very early age I was diagnosed with severe learning disabilities. After failing grades 1 and 3 I was placed in general learning disability classes. Then at age 11 my family moved to Timmins ON. At the time there wasn’t much help in schools for individuals struggling with disabilities and I was put back in regular classes. It goes without saying I still struggled and failed my grades however because of my age I was placed ahead anyway. This continued until I reached high school, but now being 16 I was able to drop out. Being a dropout I fell into the wrong crowd and entered the life of crime. Between the ages of 16-22 I was in and out of prisons and it seemed like there wasn’t much hope for me. Then at the age 22 I graduated from provincial prisons to the big house. I was sentenced to 3.5 years in a Federal Penitentiary for armed robbery. 3 months into my sentence I was told if I wanted a chance at parole I would have to volunteer my stay at a treatment center geared towards psychological rehabilitation. During this time at the center I learned why I developed the issues I had and ways to work around them to break the cycle. Upon my release I decided to put into action what I had learned and do everything in my power to stay out of prison. So I moved to London On. to start a new life. Shortly after I had my daughter, Hailey Nov, 08 2002. Now the next 10 years were still a struggle and though I stayed out of prison, due to the disabilities I have I was still unable to build a stable life for myself or my daughter. Then about 6 years ago I fell into a deep depression and wanted to end my life. I will admit the only thing that kept me from doing so was my daughter but at this point I had lost all interest and hope for my life and so I figured if I had to keep living that I was going to focus on others rather than myself. From this point on I starting getting involved with activism and community volunteer work. At first I got involved in humanitarian, spiritual awakening and truth movements such as things like Food Not Bombs, Zeitgeist, and Occupy. Doing so opened my eyes to the truths of the world and made me realize the importance of paying attention and getting involved. It also made me realize that if we want to make real change in this world that we can’t do it by screaming in the faces of the people on top, but instead we have to do it by caring for and helping the people at the bottom first. So I switched my efforts to community poverty, homelessness and mental health.
Click on pic above to see what your most used word on Facebook is
So yeah a lot of people don’t think I’ll make it to Timmins but trust me, I not only think I can do it…I also know a lot of good people that could probably do it, and I’m sure would support the cause as well. Bravo to them folks plus you yourself to just for being on this website. I hope we can make a difference here.
Zeitgeist…my awakening and taking action moment in life. It’s sad everyone is to worldly controlled for this movement, but lucky for me I follow to universe and not the world. No word of a lie, I not only smartened up a lot at this point, I also because a hell of lot more intelligent. Peace!
Occupy Toronto & London Ontario
Toronto & London Occupy Movement. Amazing what bums…I mean what people can do! We changed the world that time…yeah OK not nearly enough….but still huge no joke!
I’ve also taken part with and helped as best I could. Green Peace, Food not Bombs (feeding the poor) We Are Change, Idle No More, Even a Tool Library cause it’s stupid the average drill only gets used like only hours and so on….
Signs And Banners I’ve Designed & Created
Let me start off by saying, Yes, yes I may be an artist however I can not draw at all, like I struggle drawing stick figures lol. I do however have a talent when it comes to creating and lucky for me micro soft office and paint made it easy enough a monkey could do it hah. I would design up something simple and use a projector to put an image of it on the wall…then trace the lines as best as I could 🙂 I like to colour to, and I can even stay in-between the lines now hehe 😛
London InterCommunity Heath Centre. I volunteer here and am an active member of HOAC Health Outreach Activity Council. Amazing what they do here for the community. It’s been my biggest honer being a part of this place.
Homeless In December
I found myself somewhat homeless last Nov-Dec so I turned it into a personal project. Sadly my mental health wasn’t up for this challenge at the time but it was still an eye opening experience. I did manage to get lots of pics and video however I had an issue with my Facebook page and lost it all. I learned a few lessons from that one no doubt!
Peer Support Coach Program
It’s not about my education, it’s about my lived experience. And it’s not always about helping everybody…it’s also how and where you direct them.