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‘Homeless News’ is a source of local, national and international news, insights and information on the issues of poverty, homelessness and social isolation.

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September 2020

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Our eMagazine offers entertaining and informative articles related to the elderly,

impoverished and homeless.

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Cerebral Cabin Fever: Returning From Isolation With Our Mental Health In-Check

Lately there has been growing discussion around when and how we can re-open society, taking down barriers created for and by physical distancing, and returning public spaces, parks and playgrounds to the people. When is the right time to re-open, what is the right approach and what are the risks? Re-opening Ontario, the other provinces and the country is being met with a drastic difference of opinion similar to the polarizing attitudes towards COVID-19 which, if you can believe it, is considered a hoax or conspiracy in some dark corners of our piece of flat earth. Some Canadians, albeit a vast minority, are calling and protesting for an immediate full scale re-opening. Others, including prov

An End To Dying Alone

Over the past 25 years I have had the privilege of working with thousands of patients and grieving family members, and have been at the bedside of more than 500 patients as they died. The dying have taught me that how we die matters. How we die matters to the person who is dying; to the survivors who are left behind to grieve; and to the next generation who must learn the values of compassion and connection in order to be a contributing member of a community. The dying person's greatest fear... Most dying patients report that they fear the isolation and loneliness of dying more than the pain or the finality of death. Loved ones tell me they want to help, but do not know how because they

A Tribute To Fred Gaysek, RIP

Haven Toronto’s family is mourning and in our time of profound grief, we wanted to share with all of you a little about our dear friend Fred. Who has left us far too soon. Lauro Monteiro Executive Director Haven Toronto “Where’s Fred?” asks Mike, a client of Haven Toronto. Mike is like a human punch clock at the downtown drop-in centre, at least when it comes to Fred in Finance. For years, Mike has made light of Fred’s relatively casual relationship with time. Fred has a history of being a little late in the morning, something those around him have grown accustomed to. It’s almost fifteen minutes after nine. “Fred's comin’ in late,” concludes Mike who gets in another dig with, “Again.” Mike

Saluting Glen Canning, Volunteer

Glen Canning is one of Haven Toronto’s longest serving volunteers. Each week for the last three years, Glen has served breakfast to the flood of clients that pour through Haven Toronto’s doors in the early hours of the morning. Providing more than a meal, Glen offers compassion and empathy, a refreshing change for clients, many of whom experience social isolation, loneliness and negativity on a daily basis and are not accustomed to receiving the kindness of others. Glen chose to dedicate his time to helping clients at Haven Toronto after moving to Toronto from the east coast. The move followed the loss of his daughter, Rehteah. Over his last three years of volunteering, Glen has become an in

Announcement: New Board Member

TORONTO, ON (April 20, 2020) – Haven Toronto is pleased to announce the appointment of new board member, Dr. Amanda Grenier. Dr. Grenier is the the Norman and Honey Schipper Chair in Gerontological Social Work at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto and is appointed to Baycrest Hospital. An aging and life course scholar, Amanda’s research is focused on understanding the interface of public policies, organizational practices, and older people’s lived experience. She has carried out research on life course transitions, social constructs of frailty, late life homelessness, and precarity and aging. Amanda co-leads the Knowledge Mobilization Strand (K-MOB) of A

The Fear Of Missing Out And Of Going Out During A Pandemic

The current mandate of self-isolation and social distancing resulting from the coronavirus outbreak is influencing our perceptions of Fear of Missing Out and Fear of Going Out. Fear Of Missing Out FOMO affects both teenagers and adults, as they constantly check their smartphones, Instagram updates, Twitter feeds, and Facebook pages. Before the pandemic, there was a constant fear of not being part of something more exciting or interesting than what we were doing. This led to the creation of “fake” personas that we wanted to present to the world, so others would “like” our posts and want to “follow” us on social media. In addition, the need for instant gratification has become an expected an

Fake Friends For Life

Perhaps it seems counterintuitive that an artificial intelligence (AI) might help combat loneliness and isolation. But the latest technology suggests there is great potential for voice assistant products to do just that. There are really two separate thoughts here. One, there is the idea that interactions between an older adult and AI might help reduce isolation. And two, there is the idea that voice assistants like Alexa can facilitate deeper human to human interactions. Alexa is an artificial intelligence (AI) developed by Amazon and made available in a family of hardware products with names like Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot. Similar voice assistants from competing companies include

Ten Top Films About Human And AI Relationships

In our April 2020 eMagazine - focused on isolation - in a piece entitled 'Modern Love', we looked at ten of the top films about human and AI relationships. #1 METROPOLIS A classic from the silent era, about how technology causes conflict between segments of society. #2 HER A socially-isolated writer finds companionship in artificial intelligence but soon realizes that it cannot replace that of a human. #3 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY Two astronauts on a mission rely on a super-intelligent computer known simply as the HAL 9000 to get them through their journey. #4 I AM MOTHER A teenage girl is the first human to be raised by an artificial intelligence known simply as Mother. The relationship is soon

Dogs Have A History Of Helping Humans

Many people who believe they are isolating themselves from COVID-19 might be surprised to learn that they are still exposed. They may be following advice and staying home, only venturing out for essential needs. When they do leave the shelter of home, they may be vigilant in enforcing the two-metre rule and even consider ‘outing’ others who are not so mindful. They may be washing their hands more often and so often that they are experiencing Guinness Book-levels of dryness and cracking. All that and it still might not be enough to protect themselves from the impact of the virus. Turn on the television, open up the paper, grab for your smartphone and — Bam! — it’s COVID-this, coronavirus-

We Are There When Others Cannot Be

What we are experiencing today is, for many people, the worst crisis in their lifetime. April 1st came and went and, for some, rent was due without the funds to cover it. The streets are nearly empty and so are cupboards and fridges as people, afraid to venture out, are going without or with less. Schools and parks are closed leaving children with parents, many of whom are working from home or not working at all. And those who are still ‘going in’ to work, they are often in roles that put them face-to-face with risk, face-to-face with a virus that doesn’t care and doesn’t discriminate. Are they working because they want to — “This is what I signed up for” — or because they have to? Eith

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