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Playoffs A Source Of Social Inclusion For Homeless Raptors Fan

Photo: 2019 NBA Finals - Game Four, By Ezra Shaw

A man who has been living on Toronto streets says connecting with fellow Raptors fans during the team's historic playoffs run has helped boost his spirits.

Alex Brown says he's been spending time at the Jurassic Park fan zone outside the Raptors' arena and calls the fans around him his friends and family.

Brown says connecting with others who love the team, particularly at the Jurassic Park fan zone outside the Raptors' arena, has helped boost his spirits while he's been living on the streets.

"The fans got me feeling happy about myself," he said. "I don't feel down, it's gotten me up and going.”

Hours before game five, Brown was among the first in line to get into the fan zone where games are broadcast. He had been there since 10:30 p.m. the night before and said he's slept in line before several games.

"Waiting in line for Jurassic Park is like waiting in line for a roller-coaster at Canada's Wonderland," he said. "It's a lot of excitement and intensity."

Originally from Barrie, Brown said he's been homeless since the break-up of his relationship.

He said Raptors fans and employees of Scotiabank Arena have been checking in on him when he spends time in the area, and have even bought food for him.

"They treat me with a lot of respect and a lot of care," he said.

Brown said he previously worked odd jobs through a temp agency and plans to save some money to find a place to live. But for now, he wants to be close to the Raptors celebrations.

Adapted from Canadian Press and CBC News




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