The Women Behind Haven Toronto: Sheila Yeung, Social Worker
In her own words: Haven Toronto is the only drop-in centre in Canada for elder men. There are no other agencies out there that address this segment of the population and their unique needs.
Haven Toronto provides a safe space for members and an opportunity to be part of a community.
Having studied at Ryerson University and the University of Windsor, I got into social work because I was interested in people's lives. I have always admired people's resiliency when faced with life’s challenges. I believe people have inner strength and, as a social worker, my role is to assist people in finding that strength.
Being part of someone's life story is rewarding.
As a Crisis Outreach Worker for Haven Toronto, I am seeing people sometimes at their worst or lowest moments. It is rewarding to be able to offer assistance, give hope, and see people move past their problems.
I have always admired the programs that come out of Haven Toronto and I appreciate the freedom afforded me to think outside the box in assisting clients.
Haven Toronto is one of the first agencies to recognize the need for a mobile crisis team for seniors and to create innovative ways to deliver services to members who otherwise will not be reachable.
The biggest challenge I face is getting clients into long-term housing. The main issue is affordable housing in Toronto.
Lack of affordable housing has a profound impact on seniors. With reduced income and declining health, few landlords are willing to rent to this population. Haven Toronto clients often face these barriers which prevent them from getting housed.