We say change is good for you, fortunately for many Nada Thomson made a big change; from organising where people live to lives. In 2006 Nada moved to aiding the poor after years of owning a business concern called Artful Organizers, where she was a personal organizer.
As a Christian mission, it is there to assist those members of the community who would otherwise be ignored. Every ethnic groups regardless of faith are welcome, the Sanctuary will try to help as many members as they can. There are members from a massive age range and both men as well as women. Five hundred faces each week and every year in the thousands.
The street outreach team does an important job, going out to individuals on their own turf, offering and providing support such as meals and Children’s Aid. They also provide a health clinic and a psychiatrist, or substance abuse support or physical therapy for their body. Relevant employment is another service, with teams helping members into work through employment training.
To commemorate Xmas, the Sanctuary holds a large Christmas feast which takes place each year. They have had a church contribute some Christmas gift bags and they do have talent shows and they do a play ï¿½ the Screaming Monkeys. Those involved will do a long walk in the summertime. Although donations are important, the mission hopes that those that donate will also become involved in other ways. One of the first aims is to break down the barriers between those individuals who are rich and those that are poor. Those, who have been stripped of their significance to society, will be given back their pride. Friendship is definitely important when trying to help, dollars alone won’t provide a person with a sense of worth.
We’re not here to take the place social services, we’re here to work alongside social services, Thomson says. Here we have people who were living on the street and they are now living in a home. They would not be able to do this without someone to help them look for a house and help them find furniture.
The tragedy of a young woman, born and growing up in Toronto is one of the Sanctuary’s success stories and gives you an idea of the help we give. Not too soon after this child was born, she was sent into foster care. Her aunt set her cot on fire. Bad hygiene led to her grandmother seeing her body teeming with cockroaches. Physical abuse did not stop there, this young child was also sexually abused. Over the years she went through the homes of many foster parents, no relationship seemed to last and this woman was an addict. With support from lots of people she is now moving forward with her life and has been coming to the sanctuary for 4 years.
Julie Kinnear is MLS GTA professional and environmental activist.