The Dam

“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)

Downsview Youth Covenant

20160316_132902 Downsview Youth CovenantConstance 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.

Nikone – LOFT Community Services

Nikone photoMy 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


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.

Ashur – AURA

A Syrian refugee walks with her children at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Sept. 8. Around 30,000 Syrians live at the camp, with the numbers growing each day. Mohammad Hannon/AP.
A Syrian refugee walks with her children at Zaatari refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan, near the Syrian border, Sept. 8. Around 30,000 Syrians live at the camp, with the numbers growing each day. Mohammad Hannon/AP.

AURA (Anglican-United Refugee Alliance) works with parishes in the Diocese of Toronto to aid and support refugees through refugee sponsorship, settlement services, education, and other means. Ashur (not his real name) is just one of the many people who have been helped. Here is his story:

Ashur is a 7 year old boy from a town in south west Syria.

Ashur lived a quiet life, his father worked for the government and his mother worked for an international company. On the 6th March 2011 fifteen children were arrested and tortured for painting anti-authoritarian graffiti. The civic protests that followed their detention led to an outbreak of violence that would see a domestic uprising transform into a civil war.

As the civil war erupted Ashur’s father was murdered for being seen as part of the government by one side of the conflict. Ashur’s mother was threatened with death for working with foreign companies by the other side of the conflict.

Having no choice, Ashur and the remaining members of the family fled the only home they had ever known into the hostile countryside. Ashur made the 57 km journey on foot over the border with Jordan and eventually to the Zaatari refugee camp. Although safer, Ashur and his family now face the dangers of life in a temporary refugee camp and an uncertain future. Because of being directly targeted, Ashur and his family will never be able to go home.