Caterina Scorsone is a Good Neighbour
Toronto born, LA-based Caterina Scorsone prepared for her role as the brilliant but drug-addicted Dr. Amelia Shepherd on the hit television show Private Practice by spending time with members of The Good Neighbours’ Club, a Toronto day centre for older men who are homeless or marginally housed.
Her father, Dr. Bruno Scorsone, is the Executive Director at the club, and Caterina has witnessed firsthand the hope and despair of club members, some of whom, like the character she plays, are battling their way back from addiction to a better life. You can see Caterina Scorsone on the morning of December 29 on Breakfast Television Toronto where she will talk about the show, the club and how one inspired her work on the other.
The Good Neighbours’ Club is the last refuge for many. Without adequate housing, it is the one place they can turn to for showers, clothing, a place to lock up what few valuables they may have, medical care, food, companionship and compassion. It is open from 8am until 5pm, giving members somewhere safe to go in the day, away from the violence and temptations of the street. The club makes final arrangements for the men when there is no one to do that for them.
By the time a marginally housed or homeless man is 50, he is physiologically closer to 70 in age. The stress of a nomadic life is extraordinary and in economic times such as these, and it’s only getting worse. A jobless recovery has seen more pressure on The Good Neighbours’ Club even as budgets are being cut. The desperately poor and mentally ill are being pushed into even worse circumstances even as the services that could help them are being eviscerated.
These are cruel times.
But, amidst the hardship, there are flashes of great kindness. And as bright a light as Caterina Scorsone is on screen, so is she off, and she is using her Christmas holiday to help the club. She joins a list of luminaries who this year have given so generously of their time and talents, including Citytv’s Roger Petersen, CTV News Toronto’s Joe Tilley, Senator Art Eggleton, The Honourable Glen Murray, Sheldon Levy, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and many others.
It is easy to look the other way. It is much harder to look in the eyes of someone in trouble and say “I see you, I know you are in pain and though it is not much, let me stand with you for this short time so you will know that you are not alone.”
Thank you to Caterina Scorsone, Roger Petersen, and everyone who has supported The Good Neighbours’ Club this year. Special thanks go to Dr. Bruno Scorsone, Dr. David Bruce, Lauro Monteiro and all the staff and support workers who give so tirelessly of themselves to help those others have forgotten.
They are all gifted, skilled people who would make so much more in the private sector, but who have chosen to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs and consciences.
We at Babble On Communications have been grateful once again this year to lend our support to this most worthy cause. We join Caterina Scorsone this Christmas in hoping you will consider making a donation to The Club at http://goodneighboursclub.org/how-you-can-help-1/how-you-can-help.html
About The Good Neighbours’ Club:
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. For more information about The Good Neighbours’ Club please visit www.goodneighboursclub.org
About Private Practice:
Created by Shonda Rhimes, the Golden Globe-winning creator of Grey’s Anatomy, comes the story of a team of gifted doctors working together to change the lives of their patients for the better as they look to one another for friendship and love. The doctors of Oceanside Wellness and Pacific Wellcare work on the most difficult cases, patients whose medical needs often pose moral and ethical dilemmas. Private Practice is executive-produced by Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Off the Map), Betsy Beers (Grey’s Anatomy, Off the Map), Mark Gordon (The Hoax, Saving Private Ryan), Mark Tinker (St. Elsewhere, NYPD Blue), Steve Blackman and Craig Turk. Private Practice is an ABC Studios Production. For more information, please visit: http://abc.go.com/shows/private-practice