A poet and social activist, Bud Osborn's life and work represents the embodiment of the disenfranchised. As a former drug addict, he never thought he'd be alive today, let alone living a respectable life. Now, seven years clean, Bud channels his energy into helping his neighbours in Vancouver's downtown east side, a neighbourhood he aptly describes as a "third world health horror."
A member of VANDU (Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users), Grief Into Action, a support group for parents of addicted youth, and the Carnegie Community Centre Association Board, Bud spends his time ultimately "trying to save lives and solve problems, not defend drug addicts."
His poetry speaks to those he is trying to reach. Used as a communication and educational device for and about people on the streets, Bud's poetry also serves as documentation of the people nobody else will write about and to let them know they are not alone. From his troubled youth in America to waiting out the Vietnam draft in Toronto, Osborn has finally found a home in Canada's most troubled neighbourhood and the poetry he spins from his experiences transcends borders and communities.
Fighting popular opinion that Vancouver's downtown east side is without hope, Bud chooses to see the bright side of his neighbourhood. He blames the media for doing more damage than good in their portrayal of the down-and-out and feels there is more community in troubled neighbourhoods than in others. Partly, because so many people depend on each other just to survive.
Bud Osborn passed away in Vancouver on May 6, 2014.