Turning To Us Turning To You
A Message From Haven Toronto Executive Director, Lauro Monteiro
You often hear staff say that food is a gateway at Haven Toronto. This has been the case since the day we opened almost 90 years ago. Clients come for a nutritious, hot meal prepared in-house and while they are here they access health and housing supports and socialize with peers.
As poverty and homelessness grow in the province, we are seeing more and more new faces of elder men. In August, new clients increased by 152% compared to the same time period pre-pandemic. We saw the spike start in June with a 163% increase. We expect these numbers to continue into and throughout 2023.
Recently a man that we had never seen before showed up for lunch. With him was everything he owned – literally pants, and the shirt on his back. He had no socks, no shoes, no nothing else. It turns out he is homeless and everything that belonged to him was stolen.
His situation is not uncommon. Exposed and vulnerable men living on Toronto streets face the constant threat of theft, violence and even death.
Within seconds of his arrival, Haven Toronto Crisis Counsellors and Support Care Workers spoke with the man, outfitted him with items from our Emergency Clothing room, and got him in front of nursing and housing staff. We have been providing this level of support for so long now that the process comes naturally; we’re used to it.
However, you never get used to the toll poverty and homelessness takes on a person.
We share our clients’ hope for better days ahead. I hope you will too, by donating to one of our programs vital to the wellbeing of elder homeless men.