CARP – Homeless advocate and homeless Arnprior man Guy Lamarche has until the end of the month to move his bunkie off the Carp property he built it on.
West Carleton Online profiled Lamarche and the bunkie he was building on a property just outside of Carp.
Lamarche has spent several years homeless, and at the time West Carleton Online spoke with him, he was living out of his van.
At the same time, Lamarche was building a small bunkie he hoped would provide him with a home, but more importantly, provide the Arnprior community with a potential solution to rural and small-town homelessness. Lamarche, also known as The Frugal Man, was building the bunkie with all donated material and scraps he found, with permission, in construction site dumpsters.
Lamarche was also a member of a Town of Arnprior ad hoc committee looking in to the homeless issue.
Recently the owners of the Carp property told Lamarche he had until the end of February to move his bunkie. Now he is trying to find a way to do that.
“A few people have offered to try and help me move my bunkie and I am thankful for that,” Lamarche told West Carleton Online. “Hopefully, that will be possible.”
One friend even set up a gofundme page to help raise funds before the fast-approaching deadline. While the bunkie is quite small compared to normal living standards, at around 107 square-feet, moving it is still a fairly big job.
“The next challenge is to find a place to put it,” Lamarche said. “Ideally, I was hoping to place it somewhere temporarily in a very visible and accessible area in Arnprior so that people could come see my bunkie, learn about it and ask questions. Firstly, I would like to bring poverty and homelessness to the forefront of people’s minds in the community to help them gain a better understanding of these two situations.”
Lamarche wants to show it as a demonstration project of what can be achieved with the bare minimum as a potential solution for a possible future tiny home village in Arnprior.
“In that situation I would not be able to live in the bunkie for that time which is fine,” he said. “I still have my van.”
If Lamarche can’t achieve that goal, there are some less desirable options.
“Thirdly, I would try to put in storage so to speak where it would be legal and safe until I find a more permanent place to put it,” Lamarche said. “Finally, as a last resort I would simply abandon it on the spot. As I’ve said before it’s just a thing and we’ve all enjoyed the build so far.”
If Lamarche’s gofundme page raises funds, but not enough to move the bunkie to a more desirable location, he wants to make sure the money raised goes directly to the homeless and poverty issue.
“If the money was not used or required to move my bunkie, I would like it to go to some kind of fund for poverty and homelessness in the greater Arnprior area,” he said. “I think that would be a great use of those funds. Personally, I’ve already setup a fund in a baggie for me to dispense as I see fit. For example, I’ve bought diapers for a single mom and her daughter; I’ve donated to people for things that they need like food; I’ve bought cat litter and milk for someone else etc. etc.”
The gofundme page, created by Linda Pearce, has raised $500 since it was launched yesterday (Feb. 16).
If you are interested in donating to the gofundme page, you can do so here.
If you are interested in contacting Guy Lamarche, you can do so on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FrugalMan.ca where he often blogs about his experience as a homeless man.