Red Cross Provides Assistance to 650 Residents
The Canadian Red Cross distributed cheques to eligible residents of 650 Parliament street displaced by the fire on the 21st of August., Red Cross connected with The Corner to partner with and utilize the space for distribution. 

Around 380 households received cheques from the 5-7th of November. The amount distributed to each household was based on the size of the same. Household with four people or less received a sum of 250 dollars while households with 5 or more members received an assistance of 370 dollars.
The Corner also distributed gift cards to residents who hadn’t received them during the initial distribution. 126 households received gift cards worth 6100 dollars from The Corner. The Corner's Health Access team connected with the residents prior to the distribution and with the aim to cater to any other support they may require.

85% of residents of 650 Parliament Street received checks and gift cards. Many have sought appointments at The Corner to meet housing worker and for other support services. Despite an announcement earlier that residents need to vacate their temporary accommodations, by November 30th, the City along with other partners supporting have made sure that the residents who are put up in hotels temporarily, can continue staying in them up until April 2019.
One of our own!
Nayanthi Vijesuriya, a member of the St. James Town Community is also  the Intake Lead at The Corner.  She was featured in 'Journeys to the Frontline' a collaborative online exhibition that shares the stories of eight professionals in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector. The Corner too was part of collaboration between Ontario Council of Agencies of Serving Immigrants (OCASI) and Toronto Ward Museum. To read Nayanthi's and several other inspiring stories Click here.
The Change Makers are in Town
St. James Town festival was celebrated on the 8th of September 2018 for the 7th year. Every year the community recognizes individuals who have contributed immensely towards the community they live in. Click Here
Celebrating World Mental Health Day
The World Mental Health Day was celebrated on the 19th of October through an Annual Tea and Talk event. The event was organised for St. James Town Residents at the Wellesley Community Centre. This is the fourth annual event that Health Access St. James Town (HASJT) Partners have put together to celebrate the significant day. The aim of the program is to raise awareness about stigma associated with mental health and engage residents in conversations about the same. 

HASJT partners this year included: The Corner, Women’s’ Health in Women’s Hands, SickKids Community Mental Health, Sherbourne Health and Progress Place. This year the focus was resilience and there were several activities lined up for the participants. Activities included yoga, tai-chi, music, expressive arts and movement, and creative and fun activities for both kids and adults. Participants included people from all walks of life, from the old to the young, and individuals from diverse cultures. A total of 25 participants took part in the event.

The event was very inclusive and engaging in terms of its format, method and partnership. The event was designed in a way where older adults could share their wisdom with the young. One of the highlights of the event was that it began with a spiritual ceremony called smudging performed by indigenous people of Canada.
The Town, The Corner, The Seniors 

The St. James Town Seniors Day Program started in 2012. The program partners include Progress Place, Dixon Hall, Hospice Toronto and Toronto Public Health. Progress Place is the lead agency, while The Corner provides space for the program. The goal of this program is to support healthy aging at home, for seniors with mental health, addiction and complex health needs. The Program was proposed with the objective of improving health access to this isolated population. 

The program operates 3 days a week (Tues- Thurs) from 10 am to 2 pm. With over 1,800 seniors aged 55+ in St. James Town, it is important to improve the well being of this population by facilitating social connections and to improve their access to community resources. The program focuses on recreation, life skills, socializing, health and education, personal growth, physical and cognitive activities, day trips, expressive art therapy etc. A communal meal is prepared and enjoyed each day.

"I spill the coffee. Everyone cleans it up and do not blame me. I thank you all very much! - Bobby (Participant)

Besides, members of the group are linked to other services within the community through Health Access at The Corner. Outreach in the community is done using T-tables in building lobbies, friendly phone calls, miss—you-cards, hospital visits etc. 

To date the program has engaged 235 unique members that enjoy our core values of respect, inclusiveness, equality, warmth and family. The Seniors Committee of St. James Town has formed a Senior's Consortium of 16 agencies serving seniors in the neighbourhood. This collaboration will provide The Seniors Day Program with additional program days, events, workshops in other neighbourhood locations to help enhance access and to enable all seniors across St. James Town to reduce social isolation.

In-house Partners Meet at The Corner
On the 9th of November The Corner organised a Meet and Talk lunch for all the in-house partners serving the St. James Town Community at the The Corner. The objective was to create a platform where service providers could update each other on overall progress of The Corner’s activities and share learning and experiences. It is important and essential for partners to be aware of each other’s engagement with the community and hence coordinate their services with respect to the community’s position and needs.

21 participants from different partner agencies were part of the meeting. The participants shared their thoughts and views over a delicious meal. They discussed The Corner’s monthly progress report, the quarterly strategic plan and how things need to be planned as we go forward. The Partners discussed and analysed the monthly data and what improvements can be made our services. Partners also analysed the process map for different programs and events that that conducted by The Corner or in partnership with The Corner. 

A Jeopardy game was also organised for the participants to build team building skills where questions where completely based on The Corner and its partners. This allowed the participants to understand and know each other at a much more personal level. The partners have requested for better communication mediums between themselves and to have the monthly calendars and newsletter shared with them.
The Month In Numbers
In The News
What most Canadians don't get about 'bad neighborhoods' like mine
We have a saying back home: "Sudan is made beautiful by its people." In a nation where poverty and conflict have long taken centre stage, that statement rings both beautifully and painfully true. The same can be said of St. James Town, a so-called "bad neighbourhood" in Toronto, and the place where I have lived and worked for almost a decade. Read More...
Property management extends assistance for residents of 650 Parliament
About a week after notifying residents displaced by a blaze at a St. James Town apartment this summer that their temporary accommodations would no longer be paid for after the end of the month, property management has extended its assistance plan until April. Read More...
December 2018 - Updates and Events
National Day of Remembrance and Action to stop Violence against Woman
Thus, Dec 6th: 1-8 PM at Central Neighborhood House (349 Ontario Street) Click Here
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