Haven Toronto

During his recent stay in his childhood hometown of Toronto Louis had an opportunity to visit Haven Toronto, formerly known as The Good Neighbours' Club, a daytime shelter for homeless men over the age of 50. Please be sure to visit the Official Website for Haven Toronto for photos, stories, shared moments and detailed background information on this vital organization in Toronto:

News from January 16, 2017:
Today we unveil a new strategic plan for the long-term benefit of the men we serve. Key to this is the renaming of The Good Neighbours’ Club to Haven Toronto. The word “haven” aptly describes us as a place of safety for our men, who can often be further victimized while on the streets. To emphasize this, we will position ourselves as “a sanctuary for elder homeless men”. That’s not all, however.

We have a new vision and mission

Our vision is a safe and just community in which elder homeless men have the opportunity to live a quality, dignified life. Our mission is to be a national leader of services, program delivery and advocacy focused on elder homeless men.
We have a new website
The new website (www.haventoronto.ca) will more accurately reflect the services and programs that Haven Toronto provides, and will feature news regarding Haven Toronto activities and events. It will also feature a new video that highlights stories from the men we serve and the experiences of our volunteers, donors, partners and staff. Our social media sites will also be linked and
feature the many faces and stories about the organization and the men we serve.

Lauro Monteiro
Executive Director
Haven Toronto
What isn’t new is our ongoing support for elder men who are homeless, marginally housed and socially isolated. This commitment began in 1933 during the height of the Great Depression, some of the toughest times this country has ever seen, and will continue going forward.

Why are we doing this?

We have three key objectives:
1) revitalize our identity to make it more contemporary and relevant;
2) increase awareness of our services within the Greater Toronto Area;
3) improve engagement with all stakeholders including the men we serve, volunteers, donors, partners and staff.
This year marks a new foundation of growth for Haven Toronto, and we welcome you to share your comments and input on this journey. Thank you for your continued support.
Lauro Monteiro
Executive Director
Watch a great new video about Haven Toronto!

Shop & Share
Need a gift for someone who already has everything?

Shop at Haven Toronto! Everything you purchase on the Shop & Share Page will go directly to a homeless person. It's the perfect way to give something that is truly needed.

If you've ever done any online shopping you know how easy it is. Please consider the Shop & Share system in your year-round gift-giving endeavors.

Dr. Bruno Scorsone, the former Executive Director, was kind enough to record a brief message for us, explaining the history and purpose of the organization.

The Good Neighbours' Club [Haven Toronto] was started in 1933 during the Depression. There were a lot of older men who were wandering the streets that had been to the war and there was nothing for them to do then. Many of them were in very bad shape. So May Birchard* decided to open a center for them, where the men could come in out of the cold.

Today we see between three and four hundred men (per day). They’re not veterans of the war as much but they’re all broken in many ways because of age, because of illness, because of social isolation. Many of them used to be workers and professionals and then things got rough. They lost their jobs, they lost their homes, their family broke down and they ended up on the street.

Something that we hear very often is “I never thought I would end up in the street, staying at a shelter.” Now, the shelters are not very pleasant places. People live there because they have to. They want to get out as quickly as possible and there is nowhere for them to go.

[Haven Toronto] The Good Neighbours' Club is a place where they can come during the day and they can get fed, they can find some fresh clothes, a shower, a place of welcome, a place to hang around. For older people it’s hard to find another job if they’re sick, if they’ve been injured at work, and depression often sets in and loss of hope. Having a place where they are respected and welcome as human beings is extremely important.

We seem to attract a lot of good people that volunteer and that help us carry on, so I think it’s a blessed place. It’s a good place for people who are in need, it’s a place that makes people who are well off reflect on what life is all about and what is important: the value of friendships, the value of family and human relations. So I think it’s a symbol for the whole community, for the whole city. We are very grateful to everyone who helps out those who are in need.

*Note: May Birchard (died July 30, 1968) was a municipal politician and anti-poverty activist in Toronto.

If you have a safe place to stay tonight please go to our special page and share a little with those who are not so lucky. Click on the banner to go to the donations page or cut and paste/ follow this link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/pages/the-friends-of-louis-ferreira-good-neighbours-club/

(click on the banner to donate now!)

International film producer Glenn Davis, a friend of Haven Toronto [The Good Neighbours' Club], has produced a beautiful montage of film clips and still photographs, set to Simon and Garfunkel's "Old Friends." It captures the spirit of the organization perfectly.

In March 2014 Ferreira Fest member Eszter visited Haven Toronto [The Good Neighbours' Club]. Please read her report in Ferreira Fest 52.

 Volunteers - In Their Own Words
"Our volunteers expressing in their own words the meaning of volunteering at Haven Toronto."
These photos were taken in April as part of our annual volunteer recognition event.   We have volunteers from all different areas of the community - students, retirees and Club members themselves, etc., and we wanted to explore why each of them chose Haven Toronto as a place to volunteer.

Volunteers were asked to describe their motivation for volunteering in as few words as possible (which was quite difficult for many of them).  They were then photographed holding up these words, and the photos were shared in a slide show at our recognition dinner.
 - Heather Lockie
    Volunteer Development Coordinator, Haven Toronto








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