Bill lives in a small apartment in a public housing complex. The neighborhood where he lives has its challenges. People struggle with addictions, mental health challenges, homelessness, and violence. And for many people, they are alone and isolated. They have lost contact with family and friends.
The same is true for Bill. He has no family or friends who visit or support him. The Drop-In at the All Saints Church and Community Centre has become his family. All Saints is a place of respite and hope and friendship. It is a place where everyone is welcomed and treated with dignity. It is a place where people are supported as they face significant life challenges. And it is a place where people find belong.
Bill is a regular at the Drop-In. Several times each month he drops in for coffee and conversation. The staff, volunteers and other guests have become his family. Because staff and volunteers know Bill, they began to notice some changes in him. He was more agitated than usual and was often convinced that he was about to be evicted from his apartment. After some investigation, the staff learned that that there was no eviction order.
Bill was in the early stages of dementia.
Like so many of the guests who come to the All Saints Drop-in, Bill faces a challenging future. But instead of giving up on Bill as a lost cause, the staff and volunteers support him and work to preserve his dignity and alleviate his anxiety in the face of a daunting journey.
All Saints cares about Bill. He is not a nameless client who is easily dismissed and forgotten. Bill is treasured as a valuable member of the All Saints community. He is cherished, loved, and cared for.
“Connections Resulting in Growth”
I started coming to The Dam when I was in grade 9, and now I’m 19. When I was in grade nine I was going through some tough times. I was in foster care and am currently aging out of the system and moving out on my own. I have battled with depression. One day some of good friends said that I should some with them to this place call The Dam.
Walking into The Dam for the first time felt really good; everyone was very welcoming. I immediately knew that I would like it here. Over the years I’ve been here, I’ve learned a lot. Going to the variety of activities and programs has helped me get through my depression. I have grown a lot as a person.
As a result of all the growing and learning I’ve been able to do through The Dam, I have just been hired at The Dam through the new Youth Partnership Program and the Ontario Trillium Grant that is funding the Youth Partnership Committee. The Dam has been and will likely always be my family. Family isn’t about blood, it’s about the bonds that connect you and about cherishing those bonds.
by David Kau
YPC Member at The Dam
(Published in Fall 2017 the Dam newsletter)
Constance Kendall, Program Director (far right), joins youth for a game of bowling during the Downsview Youth Covenant’s 2016 March Break Camp. This year’s theme was “Learn to Play.” Twenty campers, ages 5 – 13, enjoyed Bible study, arts, crafts, exercise, table games, and table tennis, as well as cooking and discussions on healthy living. In addition to the bowling outing, proceeds from a recent fund-raiser made it possible for campers to take a field trip to Ripley’s Aquarium.
My name is Nikone and I’m from Laos, a country in South-East Asia.
In the late 80’s we moved to Toronto and I enjoyed life here. I was an active member of the Buddhist temple and involved with the Lao community in Toronto. I have fond memories of my life with my kids and family.
As much as I was enjoying my life in Toronto my physical and mental health issues started to get worse. A few years later, I lost my job and was involved in multiple motor vehicle accidents. My wife and I got divorced and I blame a large part of it on my mental health issues including bipolar disorder. My mental health and physical issues were not only hard on me but her and my family as well. Continue reading “Nikone – LOFT Community Services”
Lest we forget: Residents of St. Anne’s Place gather to remember and give thanks for the sacrifices of Canadians who lost their lives in the struggle for peace and freedom. St. Anne’s Place is part of LOFT Community Services, serving low-income seniors who are experiencing mental health, addiction and physical health challenges, who are or have been homeless and require affordable and supportive housing.