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A Homeless Heart Of Gold

Ernie, an elder homeless man and client of Haven Toronto, is on a ten kilometre walk to Commissioners to turn a shopping cart of scrap metal into a pocket full of cash.

To go from having nothing to having hundreds of dollars opens up all kinds of possibilities, opportunities and risks. Older homeless men like Ernie are easy targets. They are beaten and robbed for much less, like a five dollar phone cord.

For Ernie, this new found wealth will be used to help fill a void. And, if only for a short while, he'll feel on top of the world.

A few summers ago, Ernie travelled back home to live with family. However, his brother and sister, also in their 70s, could not give him the specialized care and support he needs. Not to be a family burden, Ernie returned to Toronto’s streets.

It was the staff at Haven Toronto that Ernie visited first upon his return. The same staff that escorted him to Emergency after a bloody fall. And it is the staff of Haven Toronto, Ernie’s unofficially adopted family, with whom he shares his proudest moments, like when he donates annually to SickKids.

Ernie’s sister died when they were children. Ernie remembers the hurt and the hopelessness. Every Christmas for years now, Ernie donates cash that he collects to SickKids in memory of his sister, hoping that it makes a difference in the lives of others.

One small act, can make one big difference, in a day, in a life.

We created 'The Power of 1', a free eBook, to encourage others to make a difference. The Power Of 1 is about changing your world and, in the process and for the better, changing the world of those around you. It's about achievable change, beginning inside oneself and building outward. Think of it as GIGO 2.0; Good In, Good Out.

From free to priceless, inside the book, 'The Power Of 1' are 101 ways that you can make a real difference in your life, and the lives of others.

'The Power Of 1' Challenge

How many of the 101 ways, over the next 101 days, can you make a difference in your life, and in the life of someone else. A family member. A friend. A neighbour. Even a stranger.




Our Weather-Ready Care Kits

include items vital to surviving the extreme weather of every season.

From cold & damp to hot & humid.


Your monthly donation

means year-long support

for elder homeless men.


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