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Community Through Partnerships: Helping the Homeless | @TorontoPolice United Way 2018 Campaign

Community Through Partnerships: Helping the Homeless | @TorontoPolice United Way 2018 Campaign

I think unfortunately the average person
in Toronto doesn’t realize the extent of the homeless issue and and how severe it
is for many people as officers of the city we deal with it all the time we see
how bad it can be and how much there is of it the heart of winter and the
freezing cold when we don’t want to get out of our cars people are sleeping
outside under a couple sleeping bags especially just an average person in
Toronto there’s no way they could understand what that’s like well the
reality in Toronto is we’re at unprecedented levels in homelessness so
over 8,000 people tonight will be homeless in the city of Toronto senior
homelessness in the City of Toronto is at a crisis point in the four years the
number of seniors who are homeless has doubled Haven Toronto is the only agency
in Canada that is dedicated to the needs of older adults who are homeless Haven
Toronto provides a physical space so we have this building here at 170 Jarvis
Street where the men can come in all types of weather have meals here we have
nurses here we have counselors here we have showers we have clothing that they
can get we can connect them to all range of services in the community based on
their needs Haven Toronto with the funding that we
get from the United Way and our other principal funders we have to stretch our
money all the time so we become very adept doing a lot with very little well I think overall having
relationships with the Toronto Police Service in 51 division builds trust when
the constables are out in the community and they gauge with our men they know
each other and the fact that they’re here frequently the fact that they’re
here sometimes volunteering on their own time
really resonates with our men my relationship with Haven as I’m lost
park neighborhood officer I’m gonna say is fantastic they are supportive of us
doing our jobs as police officers in the neighborhood they’re easy to communicate
with they’re approachable Haven treats their clients with dignity and respect
what would surprise people about the homeless population is that being an
elder male the consequences or the repercussions in the end are omit are
more severe because of the age not everybody that comes to here has a
place to live a lot of them are homeless some of them stay in shelters some of
them stay on the street it gives us a place to come
I mean what would the people do without it they go sit in the park they go sit
in the mall here they can come here they can see friends they can get a meal have
a shower get clean clothes play pool work on computers or just sit and read a
book it’s a fantastic place before I joined the club years ago I didn’t know
you know what to do I lost my job I lost my place and I was homeless I was they
saved us the shelters and I didn’t know what the newel helps are a lot that you
don’t feel lonely it’s like a family here you’re a person who’s got problems
and they just talk to the staff without to other people in here and then they
said don’t feel so lost then they you know they started to start to get their
hopes up don’t losing a hope at the beginning that I had no hope now they
have to start to get hope again that things will work out
running an organization like Haven takes money they have full-time staff members
they have part-time staff members the counselors that takes money the United
Way is a huge portion of how they provide their services
if Haven didn’t get the funding and wasn’t able to operate it would have a
huge impact and a huge negative impact on the elder male population and it’s a
vulnerable population and having those men on the street and not having their
resources available to support them in their day-to-day I think would be
devastating for a large number of men that use them on a regular basis I would
encourage anybody who’s considering giving a donation if they’re not doing
it on their own already to do it through the United Way and so that they can
support an organization like Haven they’re people just like you that ran
into a bad situation and they’re trying to get by to make their situation better
if a few dollars can help them achieve that goal then by all means please
without funding this place would not be here and where would all these old folks
go you don’t need to give much what you need to know is that even the smallest
dollar amount can help everyone in the community when you give money there’s a
direct impact to the community and I think that that should be what we’re
made of give back give back give back as much as you can the scope of the
organizations that the United Way helps is huge there’s likely going to be one
or many organizations that are going to be of interest to you
Haven is important to me and they get great funds from United Way but there’s
children’s programs there’s programs for other elders there’s all different types
and one of those things is going to be important to you and United Way serves
them all I’d like to encourage everyone with the Toronto Police Service to give
to the United Way because there’s a lot of people and a lot of organizations out
there that need our help you

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