Homeless Family Upcoming Initiatives

Congrats! York Region officially received the PACC hosted social audit, Behind the Masks, to be used / sent to all municipalities for use as well as appropriate provincial bodies/ministers. They also agreed to adopt it's recomendations - including the $100 healthy food supplement thanks to you all supporting it! You can access a copy at http://www.povertyacc.com/

An update - Homeless father son - Father Edward started work full time last monday - through someone PACC places guys with occasionally not these non-existent newspaper written job offers( solar panel was courses not jobs , no phone #'s Tim hortons owner, and rest were future job offers) the newspapers wrote of - and well over minimum wage as well1..He is elated to be part of life/society/community again and although his son still has no home (all offers for Damien were out of town( newmarket hi home) or temporary solutions, or would not sign rental agreement). Dad can now realistically rent an apartment( if available) so they can live there together like they want!..And from there hopefully lead a normal life again thanks to you all! They are also very grateful... and stay tuned for an event to say thanks to everyone!

PACC Chair Tom Pearson and V.C. Kristine Carbis, as well as YR Food Network's Programs Coordinator Yvonne Kelly represented York Region at the provincial " Put the Food in the Budget' campaign all day strategy session last Friday in Toronto.The sessions looked at short and long-term next steps and also featured workshops including one by myself focusing on maximizing your media as well as other fine-tune strategic focused workshops.

Some "next steps"ideas for PFIB seemed pre-approved - such as a campaign that would involve sending valentines to those politicians (primary (Mcguinty etc and secondary provincial targets) directly related to the future upcoming elections that include a message on it. This, like the " eat the poverty diet" execise that " Do the Math" evolved to, have both been done before however there seemed some support for such a " stunt". Valentines anyone!?

Also discussed was the emergence of a new poverty reduction campaign, a Social Planning Network of Ontario (a supporter/booster of PFIB) initiative called Poverty Free Ontario, so stay tuned for more!..Meantime enjoy this powerful pictorial laid to the music provided by fundraiser Seagully for the recent event. It is very powerful. Enjoy.


Tom Pearson

Put the Miles Behind You Seagully

Please enjoy....soundtrack of production by "Seagully" who held the benefit for Ed/ Damian has sold 61/2 million copies worldwide.....

Social Audit Team Members

This group - part of the collaboration that made up the social audit -also backs this place being built..as per the social audit recommendations - so we are on track support-wise politically as well as public support via media coverage on this..

Affordable Transitional Home Newmarket

We have created a group whose mandate is to open the location at Leslie and Green lane as a home with private rooms for those without homes or affordable places to live...the hope is that we can add support programs and life skills etc in house with the assistance of existing community groups especially grassroots PACC which brought YR it's first social audit in ghistory recentlty resulting in " Behind The Mask" co-authored and convened by Tom Pearson - PACC's Chair..YR council accepted this audit last week as an official entry for use / guidlining...and affordable or transitional housing was a tops the list - thus grants/funding will likely come through if we open first..ask questions later..!!!

The goal is March 1st with everyone pitching in for whatever's needed!

Perhaps one Sat a week or...planning starts soon stay tuned!

York Region Letter Editor

Dear Editor(s),

Where to begin? Firstly on behalf of Edward and Damian I would like to convey their heartfelt appreciation at the outpouring of support from the community. From right across York Region we've heard from people wondering how they could help - whether that be blankets, clothes, boots, a room in someones home, food, a mat for" the guy sleeping on cardboard", even modest amounts of money ( that "envelope stuffed with cash" was actually $60 ) and much appreciated by Edward who only recently starting began receiving a social services cheque just to get him going, after spending over the past year on the streets. He just wants to work and still doing anything to supplement his/their income - for now mostly recycling cans and bottles -all of which he must of course declare to ensure he doesn't get cut off. Any deductions may reduce the amount he receives which barely covers rent as is.

But what do you mean? What about all those job offers you say? We / they are awaiting hearing back on a few possibilities but thus far we've not been able to connect with Tim Horton's, and other job offers promising but more of an "in the future' nature and the solar panel offer was interesting, but for a course requiring payment not a job, starting in 3 days which without even a home yet for Damian was asking too much.There are no quick fixes here and their situation is systemic. We need fundamental changes including affordable places for these guys and others like them, including women, and even couples who may be living under undesirable circumstances.

What these guys ideally want / need since everyone seems to want to know is this -

1stly Edward just wants his son Damian off the street. We'd previously secured a room in Newmarket for Edward thus far, but not Damian. In a perfect world they could be rented a place together in Newmarket with a max rent for two at $850.

Damian needs a home base and wants to live in Newmarket near or with his dad and where he's built supports, familiarity, transportation, and friends but unfortunately none of the offers for a room came from there. He needs a place that ideally can offer some privacy, where they will sign a rental agreement so he can access a "start-up fund" that will pay first and last months rent with something leftover to get a bus pass and some work clothes. He says he can handle the rest from there regarding working, and school and this quiet kid has no issues working hard. He's a little bashful about the attention as well.Imagine having no real place to fall back to in private. Damian asked if I could convert the offer of a room from a great lady in Aurora to another "kid" friend whom they both worry about leaving behind. that's what kind of character they have despite everything, and yes their young friend took the room.

Ultimately they'd like a place where they could live together even if for a few years, like any family as the son grows up and they are concerned about the friends and others to be left behind - what about them?

This story has created an awareness / reaction from people like no other I've seen in the past 7 years or so I've been around trying to encourage a more forgiving social net system. To me personally the whole thing has awakened hope in humanity again after years of seeing what I perceived to be an uncaring, or at least complacent public. The swail of support to "build" something that houses people on the margins in homes with perhaps access to supports, work programs, life-skills etc in -house has people calling in and those close to the issue buzzing about what could be - as a possible site has come available with 18 rooms and with the proper zoning and a willing landlord! Perhaps fate methinks. Want to be a part of something real!?

Come out to the fundraiserwith live entertainment this Sunday Jan 23 starting at 4PM at Orleans Restaurant in Newmarket and meet the guys and perhaps discuss how you can help make this all a reality, because the will is there!

Admission is $20 and includes some surprises including a Special Guest host who's performed with greats like JJ Cale! A 91221 event for those musicians in the know! That's all I can say!

Tom Pearson
Chairman, Poverty Action for Change Coalition

Meetings Events Father Son Homeless

Howdy..hope all is well..here are some reminder dates for upcoming...in addition to that some musician connected to Mcartney, Clapton etc apparently wants to put on a benefit on Sunday at Club Orleans in Newmarket for Edward and Damian 4pm on...will let u know more...Musician also interested to perhaps do a bigger one out at the possible new "house" to raise money for a place for them (all )to live affordable.

They are doing fairly well despite Edward dislocating his shoulder the other day and having their stash of cans stolen today..Oh wait..you thought they had cozy jobs and places to live now? ha..Solar panel offer was for a course - with a cost and the tim hortons offer in the paper I have not been given a name/# for..and the "envelope full of cash" donated was $60 dollars ( I was present)..

Upcoming -


Tues Jan 18 - present to BIA - downtown Association for moving road hockey event - bodies welcome but not neccessary. Present prosal to committee at 7PM. Tom to present - Ask- To hold the Friendly Neighbourhood World Youth Road hockey Challenge on Mainstreet Sat Jan 19 from 10:am - 4:30 PM...Oh...did I say WORLD..gulp..that' proposal's for the PACC meeting agenda

Wed Jan 19 - BODIES NEEDED - YR headquarters building Yonge St Newmarket - PACC and friends present Social Audit" Behind The Masks" to Region - 2PM - 3PM Hall" A" - followed by photo op in the YR building foyer for anyone wishing especially those who helped with and participated with the ISARC Social audits!

Next PACC Meeting Thursday Jan 20 meeting at Tom Taylor Place (1st apt south of Newmarket Magna Centre) 7 PM - 8:30pm..come to front doors to be let in. We'll have refreshments and perhaps some extra foodstuff/toiletries should anyone need.

..and check our our new blog/look linked from our website and includes links to the PACC Channel our video station.


Upcoming PACC Meeting Dates and Events

Important Dates upcoming

Howdy all! lots going on....

Tuesday Jan 18 2011 - possibly present to BIA - downtown association for moving the annual road hockey event - bodies welcome, location time tba.

Wednesday Jan 19 2011 - YR headquarters building Yonge St Newmarket - social audit to region - 2pm - Hall A

The next PACC meeting will be on Thursday Jan 20 2011 at Tom Taylor Place (1st apt south of Newmarket Magna Centre) 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM. Come to front doors to be let in.


Community Comes Through Helps Homeless

York Region homeless family is receiving help from the community. This is the third part to the story that has appeared on the York Region web site. Check out Offers Stream in for Homeless

Newspaper Articles Homeless Family York Region

Newspaper stories of York region homeless father and son, thanks to : YorkRegion Newmarket Era-Banner.

Homeless father, son struggle - Edward Oxtoby and his son battle the odds, story by Chris Traber.
Father, son urban survivalists - Part 2 of the York Region newspaper article

Want more?

- The provincial interfaith social assistance reform coalition audit entitled, Behind the Masks, testimonials of those marginalized by income was presented to the province Dec. 1
- For information and to request audit copies, visit povertyacc.com or isarc.ca
- On Jan. 19 the York Region Social Audit will be presented to the York Region Community&Health Services committee.

Homeless Father Son Story Reactions

Wow...where to begin..the story in the YRMG's papers has certainly generated a tremendous amount of ....well..interest, compassion, offers, outrage, ideas, discussion, honesty, awareness, exposure.... and many calls from (outraged) people outside the usual voices representing possibly another bridge we've crossed, through compassion, as it seems to have touched across fences. Many have asked how they could volunteer and I'm steering them to support the opening up of a place where these guys can live longer term with some supports to step out of the margins. Especially now while the fire is hot.

At the end of the day most of the numerous calls received have been positive with generous offers from everything from blankets, to a room, to a loft, to a future job, to someone calling a union rep for them, to food, a place on their couch...but as yet what they really need - a place for them both together but I think something may be in the works..stay tuned! Meantime I taped this interview and YRMG will likely get awarded although the report is not completely factual.

The guys are somewhat embarrassed by the attention and by nature humble so I appreciate those coming across them don't pepper them with questions etc as if they want to share with anyone they will.

Check out exclusive video footage of the interview from PACC TV at

In other news, we are looking at Thursday eve for our next PACC meeting - likely 6:30 - 8:pm location to be determined.

Agenda will include: March Break Youth Road hockey tourney

Social audit presentation to Region - Jan 19 - idea to also hold a "release" in foyer following as many people as possible attend.

Do The Math strategy update - Provincial Poverty Strategy day in Toronto - Jan 28 - transportation / food paid..

PACC possible participation in new centre for low income dwellings at green Lane and Leslie Sts former crosslinks building and has been used as a type of group home / residence over the years. Edward wants to help make it happen and live there ultimately as well!

I will not be around tomorrow as i will be attending a provincial put food in the Budget campaign meeting..focussing on the next steps of "Do the Math"....Kristine will be happy to assist anyone while gone!

Tom out!

Road Hockey Comedy Video

Thompson Williams Discovers Road Hockey in Canada