PARC is a social service agency that works with members on issues of poverty, mental health, addictions, homelessness and food security. We've been at the heart of Parkdale for over thirty years.
Edmond Place — is a unique, peer-support model of affordable housing for people with lived experience of mental health and addiction issues. Edmond Place is owned and operated by PARC.
Last year a group of tenants from Edmond Place came together and went for a walk. At first it was just a couple blocks. But a couple blocks quickly turned into a couple more until eventually they decided to form a team and sign up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 5k Walk.
EP Walks teammate, Leslie Miller recalls the experience: “When we all got together that dreary October morning, just being in that group dynamic was enough to motivate me. The fact that we were all out of bed so early to embark on such a journey said it all for me. The rain no longer mattered. Edmond Place — my peers and the cause — was what was front and centre in my heart and mind.”
One winter's night back in 1997, a gentle man carrying a carpenter's hammer was shot and killed by the police while experiencing a mental health crisis aboard a TTC bus. He was 35 years old, and, at the time, was also living on the streets. His name was Edmond Yu.
A year later a blazing fire broke out at a run-down rooming house in Parkdale; it was the same site where Edmond had once lived. Two people died. And for the fifty others who escaped, they now faced a new danger: homelessness.
Then in 2008, PARC set out to transform the derelict building into a new vision for what a boarding home could be. One based on safety and security for its tenants, respect for and by the community, sustainable design and greater accessibility.
Today, Edmond Place is about people, community and a better place to live.
Located at 194 Dowling Street — EP — as it is affectionately known, offers 29 units of supportive and affordable housing for people with lived experience of mental health and substance use issues. Making Edmond Place truly a unique housing initiative is the fact that it operates from a peer-based model, which means that its support staff also identify as having some form of lived experience.
The EP Walks team is made up of people who don't believe in labels. Participating in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge this fall is one way they are fighting common ignorance that leads to fear and stigma about people who live with poverty and mental health issues.
Going for long walks around the neighbourhood this summer is how the EP Walks team is improving their own health and helping to create a more inclusive Parkdale.
This year the EP Walks team is doing it again! On Sunday, October 20, 2013, rain or shine, the team will be back at the starting line — ready to walk the walk for affordable and supportive housing in Parkdale.
But the team cannot do it without you!
Show your support for affordable and supportive housing in Parkdale by sponsoring the EP Walks team in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 5k Walk. Or better yet, get yourself sponsored by friends and family and join the EP Walks team at the starting line.
Last year, the EP Walks team raised nearly $10,000 for affordable and supportive housing in Parkdale. This year they're goal is to double that and raise $20,000.
With your help they'll be sure to cross that line!