The Day of the Homeless
ATTENTION: News, City Editors:
Dignitaries and Homeless to honour former journalist who died from a violent beating
TORONTO, August 18, 2009 – The First Annual Day of the Homeless: A Memorial for Paul Croutch will be held in front of the Good Neighbours’ Club at 170 Jarvis Street on Tuesday, August 25, at 11:00am, with a barbeque to follow at noon and tours of the club running from 10am-2pm. Paul Croutch was the former journalist who died after being beaten by intoxicated soldiers from a nearby armoury in August, 2005.
The event is to honour Paul Croutch and others who have lived and died on the streets. It is a day to let older men who are homeless or marginally-housed remember those they have lost to violence. It is also a chance for the community to stand with those who have lived or are living in extreme poverty or with homelessness as so many of the members of The Good Neighbours’ Club do.
The event has been organized by members and staff of The Good Neighbours Club with participation from other organizations in the area, including the Salvation Army and Fred Victor.
- Many who have experienced or are experiencing homelessness, including friends of Paul Croutch who are also members of the Good Neighbours’ Club.
- The Honourable James Bartleman, former Lieutenant Governor
- Police Chief Bill Blair
- Roger Petersen (event host), Citytv – CityNews Weekend Anchor
- Dion Oxford – Executive Director, Salvation Army
- Stephen Morrissey – Team Leader, Employment Resources Centre, Fred Victor
- Charles Hill – Chair, The Good Neighbours’ Club
- Bruno Scorsone – Executive Director, The Good Neighbours’ Club
- Raymond May, Member of the Good Neighbours’ Club (friend of Paul Croutch)
- Edmund Snook, Member of the Good Neighbours’ Club
- Police Pipers
- Metro Toronto Police Mounted Unit (with horses)
- In front of The Good Neighbours’ Club, 170 Jarvis Street
- PLEASE NOTE: The West curb lane of Jarvis will be closed for the occasion
Tuesday August 25th, 2009 10am – 2pm
Tours of the Good Neighbours’ Club: 10am – 2pm
Anticipated Vis/photo ops include (times and events subject to change):
-band comprised of professional musicians playing with Good Neighbours Club members
-words from Former Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman
-unveiling of sign/picture
-a Good Neighbours Club member will read the names of those who have died in the last year.
-moment of silence
-Assisted by dignitaries, Good Neighbours’ Club members will unveil a plaque to honour Paul Croutch, a club member. The plaque will reside at/on The Good Neighbours’ Club where Paul Croutch was a member.
-Police Chief serves lunch to men who are homeless, marginally housed and their guests for the day (anticipated, about 150 people).
The Good Neighbours’ Club is a Toronto charity dedicated to the homeless or marginally-housed man who is 50+ and trying to find his way back to a normal life. By the time he is 50, a homeless man is aged well beyond his years. He is also vulnerable to attack by younger men. No other Toronto charity is so uniquely equipped to deal with the daytime needs of the homeless man over 50.
Founded in 1933 and located at Jarvis and Shuter, The Good Neighbours’ Club is a day centre for homeless and under-housed men who are 50 and over. Its members have faced the despair of downsizing or have lost everything due to illness, addiction, poor choices or bad luck. They receive new, donated clothes and have access to mail services, showers, laundry facilities, hot meals, phones, televisions, games, computers, a weekly medical clinic staffed by Street Health nurses, a safe place to lock up valuables…and compassion. The club also provides final arrangements for members whose bodies would otherwise go unclaimed.
Funded largely by the United Way of Greater Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Health and the City of Toronto, The Good Neighbours’ Club is assisted by the Daily Bread Food Bank, Second Harvest, Whole Foods Market and Torontonians who realize that these men could be their fathers, their brothers, their sons or even themselves.
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