4 Ways Trinity is helping residents of St James Town displaced by Fire

Sath Arulvarathan   -  

What’s happened?

1500 residents of a high-rise in St James Town, 650 Parliament Street, have been displaced due to a fire. Many have found short-term accommodations with friends and family, while others have been required to find accommodation in hotels around the GTA. However, there are quite a few accessible emergency temporary shelters located at the Wellesley Community Centre and the Regent Park Community Centre, which was organized by the City of Toronto and the Canadian Red Cross Society.

What’s happening now?

Many agencies are doing excellent work in trying to coordinate care for these residents, but it is still unsure when residents can return to their homes. This means that agencies are in flux; that is, at a moment’s notice they may have to redirect their short-term efforts in order to provide long-term services.

What is Trinity Life doing and why?

Trinity Life Church (TLC) consistently tries to work with stakeholders in SJT such as agencies that work in, and residents that live in, the neighbourhood. We are aiming to bolster their efforts, and fill in the gaps perceived by them. Through consulting and partnering with agencies, it is impossible to help all 1500. However, it is possible for us to help a few families well. TLC is responding in four ways:

1. Sponsoring families

The church is committing to sponsoring families displaced by the fire. It will sponsor a few families on a short-term basis, and one family for a longer duration. In addition, it will periodically check in with families to determine how we can provide better wrap-around care.

How can you be a part of this?

Contact TLC if you know of any families who have been displaced by the fire.
Give generously to support such initiatives. Give using following link: https://trinitylife.ca/give and write “St James Town” in notes.
Consistently touch base with families we sponsor to ensure they are well-cared for.

Contact // Kelley Adams: kelleymichelleadams@gmail.com

2. Opening The New Common (NC) space for immediate psycho-social support

We are partnering with the Sherbourne Health Centre and the SJT Community Corner to have The New Common space available for these agencies to support residents by providing counselling services and structured activities.

How can you be a part of this?

Volunteer to run structured activities for families, adults and children
Volunteer to host for agencies running programming in the NC: making tea and coffee, welcoming people
Donate toys and picture frames to complete the NC space

Contact to volunteer // Kelley Adams: kelleymichelleadams@gmail.com
Contact to donate // Rebecca Daley: rebecca.b.daley@gmail.com

3. Dinners with families we are supporting

TLC wants to be a social support system for individuals and families displaced by the fire. Social support includes building relationships, and it is widely known to help people cope with hardship. An excellent way of doing this is by simply sharing a meal with people.

How can you be a part of this?

Volunteer to cook for, eat with, and get to know families we are sponsoring

Contact // Kelley Adams: kelleymichelleadams@gmail.com

4. St James Town Community Festival

The church has committed to providing over half the volunteers necessary to host SJT’s largest event, attracting over 1000 of its residents. The festival celebrates the community’s diversity and strength, thus making it an invaluable part of supporting residents affected by the fire.

How can you be a part of this?

Sign-up to volunteer for the festival by emailing Sath.

Contact // Sath Arulvarathan: sath@trintiylife.ca