Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Karlene

Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Karlene

After an eight hour shift, many people would want to get home, unwind, and forget about their work day.  Karlene, a front-line staff at the Willowdale Welcome Centre, was heading home after 11 p.m. on a stormy night earlier this week when she noticed an older woman sitting hunched over on the bench in the…

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Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Melody

Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Melody

Melody was driving home from an overnight shift on Monday when she noticed a woman, who was a frequent resident at Kennedy, on the street a few blocks away from the shelter. Melody pulled into a gas station and as she got out and walked over to the resident, saw she was in bad shape….

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Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Freshtah and Kristen

Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Freshtah and Kristen

When Freshtah heard that Willowdale resident Edwin was leaving, she had mixed feelings. They had built a rapport and she enjoyed spending time getting to know him so she was sad to see him go, but happy that after all his hard work, he had found housing and was ready to start his life in…

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Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Olu’s Story

Emergency Shelter and Homelessness Service Worker Appreciation Week: Olu’s Story

Olufemi, who also goes by Olu, began his career at Homes First in the summer of 2019. He had heard of Homes First through friends that worked with the organization, and decided to apply and see how it went. Olu began on the Co-ed floor at Bathurst-Lake Shore shelter as a Community Shelter Worker. “My…

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National Addictions Awareness Week: Sherri’s Story

National Addictions Awareness Week: Sherri’s Story

Just over a year ago, Sherri was celebrating 100 days of sobriety. She was overjoyed that she had hit the three-digit mark. An addict for 17 years, Sherri believes that without the support of Homes First she would still be using or dead. “This is the cleanest I’ve been in 10 years … I got…

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National Addictions Awareness Week: Harm Reduction at Homes First

National Addictions Awareness Week: Harm Reduction at Homes First

Nicola is the Substance Use & Harm Reduction Support Worker at Homes First. Harm reduction can be described as the strategies, ideas and approach to reduce the harm of substance use and unprotected sexual activity. Nicola manages the supply of harm reduction equipment to Homes First sites, which is provided by Toronto Public Health to…

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National Addictions Awareness Week: J’s Story

National Addictions Awareness Week: J’s Story

Before coming to Homes First, J* struggled with alcohol use. She had a difficult and stressful relationship with the father of her children and worked full time to support her family. For a year, J used alcohol as a coping method for her struggles. She drank heavily and it began to impact her work. When…

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Wanda’s Arts Awards 2020: Dormant Art (2nd place winner)

Wanda’s Arts Awards 2020: Dormant Art (2nd place winner)

About Dormant Art Art is an expression of my creativity, hidden pain, and my imagination. I am a self taught artist; I am a visual painter, and illustrator. I introduce art in its traditional way to the new digital art techniques, using and practicing the use of many digital technologies as part of my creative…

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Wanda’s Arts Awards 2020: Avonelle (1st place winner)

Wanda’s Arts Awards 2020: Avonelle (1st place winner)

About Avonelle Avonelle has been a long time resident of Homes First, and has been nominated for the Wanda’s Arts Awards multiple times in the past. A potter, the closure of the pottery studio has forced Avonelle to switch mediums to painting. She is also an avid gardener and takes pride in caring for and…

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