With his permission, we want to take the time to share the story of Victor.
Victor is 26 years old and came to Canada from Nigeria in 2019. He was referred to our Bloor Street shelter through Central Intake. As a new refugee, he arrived at our doors during the winter with no winter jacket or proper winter clothing. During the first frigid day last winter, staff saw that he was only wearing a sweater as a jacket. One of the staff worked hard that day to find a Canada Goose jacket as a donation.
Staff continued to help him transition into city life over the next few months. As Victor didn’t have any ID, which can be common for people experiencing homelessness, he couldn’t apply for Toronto Housing. He was, of course, eager to find a room, and a job so he could begin saving. Staff reached out to Deborah, CONC’s drop-in manager, to let her know that Victor was seeking work experience, and she decided to take him on as a volunteer. He enjoyed volunteering with the drop-in, gaining valuable skills while still seeking a room to rent.
Within 4 months of being in our program, staff successfully found him housing. His volunteer experience with the drop-in also lead to a paid position with a partnering community agency, TROOP, where he could help with moving furniture. Due to the fact that Victor did not reside in our program for 6 months consecutively, he was unable to access the Furniture Bank, which is why we were so grateful to have TROOP partner with CONC to help Victor move from the shelter into furnished accommodations. Victor continued to work hard and stay connected, and is happy to report that he now works at Bell Canada as a customer service representative.
We are so happy for Victor, and are grateful to be able to provide him with the support he needed to make a successful first step in Canada.