Robert’s Roehampton Residence Story

[Summarized by Rev. Stephen Milton, based on the account given by Robert on December 8th, 2021]

Each month, the administrators of the Roehampton shelter meet online with members of the community, which includes some clergy from the North Toronto cluster. This month, one of the former residents of shelter joined the call. His name is Robert, and he agreed to share his story with the committee, and now with you.

Robert became homeless about a year and a half ago. Before that, he had been living in a rooming house for many years. However, it was not legally licensed. Inspectors paid the home a visit and found that it was full of knob and tube wiring. This led to a renovation of the boarding house, and Robert had to leave. This became a year of living on the streets. During that time, Robert used the City of Toronto’s drop-in system occasionally, such as on cold nights. Eventually, he got tired of living on the street, and he asked for a spot in a shelter. He was assigned a room in the Roehampton Residence.

Robert said that he really likes the staff, and they were very helpful. He didn’t enjoy the company of his fellow residents as much, since he never knew who he was going to sharing his room with. But the staff were eager to help him find housing. He needed to be able to prove that he had been experiencing homelessness for six months. His case worker at the shelter called the drop-in centres which he had visited, and was able to prove his claim was accurate. She helped him with the paperwork, getting his taxes filed,  and finding a place.

Recently, Robert moved into an apartment. He was given a welcome basket prepared by one of our churches, which he says he uses every day. He stated that the basket helped so much, since he didn’t have many household effects to bring with him into his empty apartment. He received furniture from the Furniture Bank organization. He’s grateful to be off the street, and living on his own, thanks to help from the shelter’s staff, and churches like ours.