My sleepover in the community housing highlights the good and bad
Flemo holds place in my heart ever since
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written for Town Crier Jan/5/06)
On Dec. 5, MPP Kathleen Wynne and I stayed over in the Toronto Community Housing (TCH) rent-gear-to-income apartment located in the heart of one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods.
When I got the tour of the TCH complex, where we were staying I quickly learned why the housing organization was seeking $224 million from the government to repair its 2,200 buildings across the city. Here in Flemingdon, which is southeast of Don Mills and Eglinton, one of the most dramatic needs is to fix the locks on the doors to the buildings and underground garages.
The building where we stayed had a busted front door lock, so anyone can enter the main entrance and congregate in the halls or worse. And this was not an anomaly. Other front and side entrance door locks were broken and so was the lock to the underground garage.
The housing manager John Martin said some gangs hang in this neighbourhood, so imagine having to walk by a drug deal as you make your way to your car or apartment unit? Continue reading →
Posted in Toronto Politics, Toronto poverty
Tagged Flemingdon Park, Flemingdon Resource Centre, Grenoble Public School, John Martin, Kris Scheuer, Minister Betty Jordon, MPP Kathleen Wynne, Raymond Peter, rent-gear-to-income, Sahar Badawy, Social housing, Toronto, Toronto Community Housing, United Way
Teens from troubled neighbourhoods get lessons that will last lifetime
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written Jan/6/06 for Town Crier)
For young people growing up in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Toronto, initiatives like the Youth Leadership Program can be a lifesaver.
More than 200 youth from high-risk neighbourhoods graduated Dec. 17 from the program, a joint initiative of the city and Toronto Community Housing (TCH).
Many of the 52 gun deaths (from 78 murders) of 2005 involved youth, either as victim or perpetrator, and many of the shootings took place on or near TCH complexes. The city and TCH responded this summer by initiating a pilot project in 13 communities, including Malvern, Lawrence Heights, St. Jamestown, the Jane and Finch neighbourhood and Flemingdon Park, which is southeast of Don Mills Rd. and Eglinton Ave. East.
The significance of the successful completion of the nine-week leadership course was not lost on parents, community leaders, media, politicians or youth themselves.
“I feel proud that we are in this moment. We are Toronto the Good when we work and build together,” said Kwasi Kafele, a community leader and youth advocate. Continue reading →
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged Conflict Mediation Services of Downsview, Flemingdon Park, Flemingdon Resource Centre, Garth Yarde, Jane Pitfield, John Tory, Kwasi Kafele, Lawrence Heights, Mayor David Miller, Sandra Haraan, Stacy Golding, Toronto Community Housing, Toronto Mayor, Town Crier newspaper, Yamo Said Ogho