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September 25, 2003
Outreach workers and volunteers come together to learn about homelessness
The Scarborough Housing Help Centre hosted a workshop today, entitled The Many
Faces of Homelessness. Jack Layton, community activist, author and leader of
the federal New Democratic Party was the keynote speaker.

The workshop provided an overview of the causes of homelessness and the many
different groups that make up the homeless and underhoused community in our

Along with Jack Layton, the workshop featured representatives of The Dream
Team, psychiatric consumer survivors and users of supportive housing, Pilar
Martin of the Emily Stowe Shelter for Abused Women and Parvathy Kanthasamy, a
Community Support Officer with Community Resources Consultants of Toronto.

The event was sponsored under the federally funded Supporting Communities
Partnerships Initiative (SCPI). This session was the first in a new series of
workshops produced by The Scarborough Housing Help Centre on homelessness for
workers, volunteers, community interest groups and the public on the causes,
the players, the roles and challenges that each is involved in.

"Every day we see this community as we work to help youth, seniors, abused
women, displaced workers, the ill and the socially discouraged walk through our
doors," said Dinah Rosen, Executive Director of The Scarborough Housing Help
Centre. "That is why we feel this kind of workshop series is so needed."

The project is intended to arm people in the front-line and people working
behind the scenes to address the root causes of homelessness and underhousing.
This kind of workshop helps everyone involved gain a broader understanding of
the issues and how to work more effectively together.

Jack Layton sees this event and others like it as the chance for all the
different interest groups involved to gain a common understanding and sense of
mission. "This is a very big and complicated problem! No one level of
government, agency, or corporate interest or individual could hope to solve it.
By giving all the different groups involved a chance to get together and the
opportunity to listen and learn from each other, the possibility of designing
truly effective and lasting solutions will become a possibility."

The event, which was held at the Scarborough Civic Centre, was free and open to
the public.

Media contacts:
Alison Coke, Scarborough Housing Help Centre, 647-294-8709
Dinah Rosen, Scarborough Housing Help Centre, 416-285-8070



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