RIP Josh Richard a good comrade

18 Jan

Two Thursdays ago community member and co-founder of Stratford Action For Equality Josh Richard passed away. I knew Josh when I lived in Stratford and with him and many others we created an organization to solve the social problems that people in Stratford were facing. Josh, myself and others worked hard to create alternatives to the Crystal Meth problem plaguing the city and in collaboration with various members of the city dedicated his time to working with those affected by this problem to create alternatives such as drug free community events, peer counselling and other much-needed programs.

As many know Perth County of which Stratford is a part of , had the highest level of meth production in North America and like many people living in the city of Stratford Josh was affected directly by this as quite a few of the people who he grew up with fell victim to this epidemic. Yet despite this and the seemingly hopelessness that plagues community’s affected by drugs Josh did not sit quietly by and do nothing but rather dedicated his time and energy to discuss the problems that stem from this and find real solutions that help people.

As a member of SAFE Josh was also involved in the campaign to safe shenanigans, a community space, as well as the low-income housing above said place and was involved in quite a few other campaigns that fought the negative impacts of poverty.

As well as being an amazing activist Josh was a good person and many nights we would all go out to woodys, the local bar in Stratford and let loose and have fun. I remember quite a few nights of us dancing, singing and generally having a great time. Josh was the type of guy that no matter how sad you were he would always bring a smile to your face. With his death this past thursday we not only lost a very amazing community activist but also a good friend and his death, like so many deaths of young people in our community is a tragedy. Josh wherever you are know that you are missed and loved and your loss has left a gaping dark hole in our community

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