Research shows that social isolation can be detrimental to an individual’s health. Often compounding the negative impact of a disability, illness, or addiction. As a result, people experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty are especially at risk.
We offer several programs at Fred Victor that provide opportunities for people to make a contribution, to connect with others, and to be part of a larger community. These community programs provide basic needs such as clothing and nutritious meals, education and training, and support around housing, health, legal, immigration, income, mental health, and addiction. Our current community programs include:
Open House Drop-in
Every Monday to Friday, from 12pm to 4pm, Open House staff encourages people to connect to staff and programs, meet other people and grab a healthy snack. This is the starting point for meeting people’s basic, as well as their more complex needs.
Staff assists by:
- answering questions about other Fred Victor programs and services
- facilitating creative, active and empowering social/recreational programs
- providing referrals to doctors, dentists, legal help, training programs and employment opportunities
- offering gently-used clothing from our clothing room
- promoting partnerships with other organizations that can assist with replacing I.D., opening bank accounts, applying for income supports, filing income tax, getting prescription eye glasses and more
Women’s 24/7 Drop-in Program
Fred Victor’s 24/7 Drop-in for women is located in the Adelaide Resource Centre and offers a warm, safe and welcoming space with access to health services on site.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, staff welcome all women who come through the doors. The space makes available necessities such as food, rest, clothing, toiletries and hygiene products and other items. For a lot of the women who use the program, it is their only way to connect with other women and access services that uniquely meet their needs. They are able to:
- find information about other Fred Victor programs
- get referrals to doctors, dentists, legal aid and other services
- participate in exercise, arts and crafts, and other social recreational programming
- access seniors services
- use laundry and shower facilities
- go on the occasional organized trip or outing
There are regular workshops, health information and activity sessions such as diabetes awareness, safety planning, exercise and stretching, sometimes singing and dance. In addition, there are more specialized programs:
- Seniors 101 is a peer-based support and education group for women over 50 who have little or no financial resources and who are experiencing ill health related to ageing.
- Common Ground is an English as a Second Language program offered twice a week at beginners and intermediate levels.
First of all, Fred Victor’s Creative Programs are a gateway to learning, trust, self-esteem, belonging and above all improved mental health. They offer an outlet for people to express themselves when words may be hard to find.
- The Arts Program is a safe, supportive space for artists to create their masterpieces in a group setting. Every week, an expressive arts instructor facilitates the group. There are also outings and opportunities to display and sell artwork. In this way, the program operates as a community economic development project for Fred Victor artists.
- The Garden Group gives participants the opportunity to plant, maintain and harvest a garden plot in the Moss Park Community Garden. The group meets between April and October and, every year, participants come up with a special project to commemorate their experience.
- The Memorial Project is a way for the people to remember their friends who have passed on. In our community, accumulated and unexpressed grief adds to the load that many people carry. Thanks to Toronto Southeast Presbytery of Toronto Conference, The United Church of Canada, for funding this project.
Taste of Regent Park
This is a family-friendly summer food festival that animates our community’s namesake green space, also known as the Big Park, every Wednesday evening in July and August. This celebration of food, community and culture, Taste of Regent Park features:
- An affordable produce market providing local-sourced (GTA), seasonal farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.
- A pay-what-you-can community meal is cooked each week by local caterers, who are trained through our Culinary Skills Training programs. Meals are pay-what-you-can, with proceeds returned to the Community Meal program. Approximately 250 culturally diverse, healthy, delicious meals are served each week.
- Friends of Regent Park community group fire up the wood-fired Bake Oven and serve delicious, fresh-baked snacks, like Trinidadian Doubles, each week. Training for local youth in Bake Oven animation is available.
- Local artisanal food and handicraft vendors sell goods at the Market, alongside local community agency tables such as Toronto Public Library, and performances by local artists.
- At sunset, families gather for “Movies under the Stars”, hosted by Regent Park Film Festival.