We say change is great; luckily for the Community Nada Thomson made a big change from organising properties to lives. Nada Thomson started out as a Personal Organizer with her own business called Artful Organizers and made the change into supporting the poor around 2006.
As a Christian organisation, it seeks to assist those members of the community who would otherwise be ignored. Any ethnic groups regardless of religion are welcome, the Sanctuary will try to help as many people as they can. The mission consists of men and women from 25 to 55. The help they supply, helps the thousands of people who pass through their doors every year.
The street outreach team does an essential job, going out to the community on their own turf, offering and giving support such as meals and Children's Aid. The support does not stop there, the Sanctuary also has health clinics, support for those who are using drugs and rehab for the mind and body. Purposeful employment is another service, with teams helping people into work through employment training.
To commemorate Xmas, the Sanctuary gives a big Christmas feast which takes place each year. This feast is made more special with a play, a talent show and from the church donation, a gift bag is given out. Through the summer there is a 5k walk and in September the charity has a music concert. The events are not just for the people who rely on the mission for assistance, anyone that contributes is welcome, this way they can see their money is put to good use. There genuinely should be no difference between rich and poor, people are part of a community. People, who have been stripped of their significance to society, will be given back their pride. Making a difference is more than just supplying money but also about getting new friends.
We're not here to substitute Social Services, we're here to work alongside social services, Thomson tells us. People are regarded as friends and are now living in a property rather than on the street. These people could not do it by themselves, for that reason the Sanctuary has helped them find a house and furnish it.
The life 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 given. After she was born this baby was placed in the foster care system; the following facts will show you why. This poor baby never stood a chance of a good life when it began with a family member setting fire to her cot. Inadequate hygiene led to her grandmother seeing her covered in cockroaches. One of the worst heinous acts she was put through was that of being sexually abused. When she was in foster care the heartache did not come to an, with numerous foster homes, addictions and relationships that didn't last, this, now young woman, was at a very low point in her life. A multitude people helped her and she has now been a regular at Sanctuary for four years.
Julie Kinnear is MLS GTA agent and environmental activist.