Fundraiser with Live Entertainment
Sunday January 23rd, starting at 4PM
at Orleans Restaurant in Newmarket
17380 Yonge Street, Newmarket,
ON L3Y 7R6 (905) 836-5299
Admission is $20 and includes some surprises including a Special Guest host who’s performed with greats like JJ Cale! A 91221 event for those musicians in the know!
Please refer to my previous blog “A True Tale of Homelessness” for the original story of a single dad (Edward) and son (Damian) in York Region, Ontario, Canada.
Where to begin? Firstly, on behalf of Edward and Damian, I would like to convey their heartfelt appreciation at the outpouring of support from the community. From right across York Region we’ve heard from people wondering how they could help – whether that be blankets, clothes, boots, a room in someones home, food, a mat for” the guy sleeping on cardboard”, even modest amounts of money ( that “envelope stuffed with cash” was actually $60 ) and much appreciated by Edward who only recently starting began receiving a social services cheque just to get him going, after spending over the past year on the streets. He just wants to work and still doing anything to supplement his/their income – for now mostly recycling cans and bottles -all of which he must of course declare to ensure he doesn’t get cut off. Any deductions may reduce the amount he receives which barely covers rent as is.
But what do you mean? What about all those job offers you say? We / they are awaiting hearing back on a few possibilities but thus far we’ve not been able to connect with Tim Horton’s, and other job offers promising but more of an “in the future’ nature and the solar panel offer was interesting, but for a course requiring payment not a job, starting in 3 days which without even a home yet for Damian was asking too much.There are no quick fixes here and their situation is systemic. We need fundamental changes including affordable places for these guys and others like them, including women, and even couples who may be living under undesirable circumstances.
What these guys ideally want / need since everyone seems to want to know is this –
1stly Edward just wants his son Damian off the street. We’d previously secured a room in Newmarket for Edward thus far, but not Damian. In a perfect world, they could be rented a place together in Newmarket with a max rent for two at $850.
Damian needs a home base and wants to live in Newmarket near or with his dad, and where he’s built supports, familiarity, transportation, and friends but unfortunately none of the offers for a room came from there. He needs a place that ideally can offer some privacy, where they will sign a rental agreement so he can access a “start-up fund” that will pay first and last months rent with something leftover to get a bus pass and some work clothes. He says he can handle the rest from there regarding working, and school and this quiet kid has no issues working hard. He’s a little bashful about the attention as well.Imagine having no real place to fall back to in private. Damian asked if I could convert the offer of a room from a great lady in Aurora to another “kid” friend whom they both worry about leaving behind. That’s what kind of character they have despite everything, and yes, their young friend took the room.
Ultimately they’d like a place where they could live together even if for a few years, like any family as the son grows up and they are concerned about the friends and others to be left behind – what about them?
This story has created an awareness / reaction from people like no other I’ve seen in the past 7 years or so I’ve been around trying to encourage a more forgiving social net system. To me personally the whole thing has awakened hope in humanity again after years of seeing what I perceived to be an uncaring, or at least complacent public. The swell of support to “build” something that houses people on the margins in homes with perhaps access to supports, work programs, life-skills etc. in-house has people calling in and those close to the issue buzzing about what could be – as a possible site has come available with 18 rooms and with the proper zoning and a willing landlord! Perhaps fate methinks. Want to be a part of something real!?
Come out to the fundraiser with live entertainment this Sunday Jan 23 starting at 4PM at Orleans Restaurant in Newmarket and meet the guys and perhaps discuss how you can help make this all a reality, because the will is there!
Admission is $20 and includes some surprises including a Special Guest host who’s performed with greats like JJ Cale! A 91221 event for those musicians in the know! That’s all I can say!
Chairman, Poverty Action for Change Coalition
PACC (Poverty Action For Change Coalition)
21 Dunlop St. Suite
200 Richmond Hill, ON,
Toll Free: 1-888-365-5226
Electronically – firstname.lastname@example.org
Media only call: 289-221-0928