National Volunteer Week 2021: Murilo

National Volunteer Week 2021: Murilo

A graduate from Seneca’s social service worker program, Murilo already knew what volunteering in a shelter would be like. While co-facilitating a group for men who had been involved with the justice system, he felt he wanted to use his skills in other settings as well. Since he already knew the system, Murilo thought a…

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National Volunteer Week 2021: Adam

National Volunteer Week 2021: Adam

For Master’s student Adam, volunteering to offer counselling support to those at Homes First shelters wasn’t just way to give back, but also learn more about something very unknown to him; Toronto’s shelter system. Though unsure of what he might see or experience at the start, being part of the shelter system, even in volunteer…

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National Volunteer Week 2021: Nicole

National Volunteer Week 2021: Nicole

Nicole believes in giving back to her community. An editor by profession and a mother of young children, she was raised to be a community advocate, and find gaps where community members might step in and help out. Even when living oversees she found ways to volunteer, and that volunteering in her adopted communities helped…

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National Volunteer Week 2021: Sujena

National Volunteer Week 2021: Sujena

Its hard to enjoy Mondays but for volunteer yoga instructor Sujena, Mondays were one of her best days. Joining Homes First in January 2020, Sujena led a yoga class at our Kennedy women’s shelter, guiding residents through an hour program focused on wellbeing. No matter how bad her day had been, the smiles and gratitude…

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National Volunteer Week 2021: Marina

National Volunteer Week 2021: Marina

Marina never imagined that she would be volunteering at a Toronto shelter while living in Brazil. She had visited Toronto briefly a few years ago, so when the pandemic hit and she wanted to start volunteering, she began looking online to see how she could get involved with supporting a shelter in Toronto. Thanks to…

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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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