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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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What's Missing Is You

Now that you know to look for them, you will start to see them; ‘Missing’ posters are popping up throughout the neighbourhood. In this community, this would not be considered uncommon let alone newsworthy. What is different this time is that the posters serve as a reminder that people in your neighbourhood are going without food. One in seven Canadians are food insecure meaning they have missed a meal or gone a day or days without eating due to a lack of money. When you think of food insecurity on a national scale, the magnitude of the problem doesn’t always resonate. For perspective, potentially one in seven of the people that you come into contact with today are not eating regularly or hea

Senior Isolation Doesn't Have To Be 'Inevitable'

Loneliness is a common — and dangerous — health risk, but it isn't always recognized as one. Some people think that becoming lonely and depressed is inevitable as they get older. This is simply not true. The capacity and need for friendship does not diminish with age, and seniors with healthy social networks can continue living rich, full lives well into their golden years. Loneliness isn't just a feeling — it's a physical stressor that can wreak havoc on your health. That's the conclusion that more and more researchers are coming to as they study the effects of chronic loneliness and isolation. People who go through life without much support and companionship from friends and family are mor

Volunteers Install Hand Washing Stations For Toronto’s Homeless

Over the course of the pandemic, health officials have advised the public to wash their hands as frequently as possible to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But for people experiencing homelessness in Toronto, the ability to practice proper hygiene became nearly impossible when public washrooms, businesses, libraries and community centres closed at the height of the pandemic. Local sales engineer, Joshua Kanakaratnam, recognized this problem around his community and decided to help. At the beginning of June, Kanakaratnam began purchasing hand-washing stations, typically used for camping, to place near encampments and organizations that provide services to those living on the street. “It’

Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope 40th Anniversary

Forty years ago, Terry Fox set out on a trek across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Terry ran an incredible 5,373 kilometres across 6 provinces over the course of 143 days. His journey inspired millions of Canadians and resulted in a lasting worldwide legacy. Terry was forced to end his run on September 1, 1980 when cancer spread to his lungs. A year later Terry tragically passed away. To mark the 40th anniversary of Terry's Marathon of Hope, friends and family compiled “Forever Terry: A Legacy in Letters” which recounts the inspiration, dedication, and perseverance that Terry Fox embodied. The novel features 40 letters from 40 prominent Canadians as they share the way Terry's sto

How To Improve Your Mental Health Naturally

The Vermont Complex Systems Center studies 50 million tweets a day, scoring the “happiness” of people’s words to monitor the national mood. Recently, that mood is at its lowest point since 2008 when they started the project. They call the tweet analysis the Hedonometer. It relies on surveys of thousands of people who rate words indicating happiness. “Laughter” gets an 8.50, “jail” gets a 1.76. They use these scores to measure the mood of Twitter traffic. These same tweets also indicate a potential salve. Before pandemic lockdowns began, doctoral student Aaron Schwartz compared tweets before, during and after visits to 150 parks, playgrounds and plazas in San Francisco. He found that park vis

Surviving 9/11 And Homelessness

Leslie Haskin was one of only two African-American women working in the executive ranks of Kemper Insurance at their offices in the World Trade Center. The fiery ordeal of 9/11 unhinged her mind to such an extent that doctors said she would never work again. At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, she talked with her assistant next to a large window on the 37th floor of the North Tower – the first building hit. “I felt an incredible explosion that engaged all my senses,” Haskin says. ‘I felt it, smelled it, and heard it. It was a huge event.” Even though she was many floors away from the crucible of fire and destruction in the impact zone, she and her coworkers grasped the dangers immediately. “Ceilin

The Rise Of COVID-19 And The Fall Of Our Community

It’s back-to-school time but it is most certainly not back to normal. Normal is long gone. This past Spring and Summer were like nothing we have ever seen before. The novel coronavirus has exposed the severe vulnerabilities in the community that we serve. Haven Toronto is open every day, all year, during which we are advocating on behalf of and providing support for thousands of elder men age 50-plus who are impacted by homelessness, isolation and poverty. This includes being open every day of the pandemic with added protocols to further protect clients and staff while delivering vital supports. In mid-March of this year, as businesses and schools rapidly started closing and more and more pe

Is Isolation And Stress From COVID-19 Leading To More Deaths By Suicide

Whether the coronavirus pandemic influences suicide rates in older adults is not yet known. However, the pandemic is likely to result in a confluence of the risk factors for suicidal behaviours. In an effort to reduce rates of infection, governments have adopted various policies such as social distancing, social isolation, and quarantine. Older people have been specifically advised to stay home given their vulnerability to COVID-19 and to reduce the burden on health services by limiting the spread of the illness. The adverse effects of isolation may be especially felt by older people and people with pre-existing mental illness. Living alone, loneliness, and social isolation are well-recogniz

Good Joe Bell: A Father’s Memorial Walk For His Bullied Son

In 2013, Joe Bell, a man from Eastern Oregon, set out on foot on a mission to walk across the US raising awareness about the harms of bullying. He spoke to school groups and communities, to share the story about his gay son Jadin, who had committed suicide after being mercilessly bullied in high school. Bell’s artificial knees ached but he was determined to make it on foot from his home state of Oregon to New York City, where his son Jadin had dreamed of one day working in fashion or photography. He mapped out a route and assembled a network of friends who would track his progress. He quit his job at a plywood mill, threw some clothes and a sleeping bag onto his back and loaded up a three-wh

A Student’s Heartfelt Reunion With His Teacher Two Decades Later

Everyone remembers a great teacher; one that made you feel special, happy and cared for. Or someone who inspired you or took notice of your skills. Beyond assisting with academic achievements, a great teacher is someone who is compassionate, empathetic and positive. Many teachers don’t realize the tremendous and long-lasting impact they will leave with a student. This summer, Torontonian Nashat Cassim, reunited with a teacher he remembers very fondly after almost two decades, all thanks to a social media marketplace ad. Cassim’s mother asked him to post an ad for a flower planter she wanted to sell. He received a response from a woman named Karen Ayotte, whose last name he instantly recogniz

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