Access and support: Going above and beyond to help a single parent in need

Access and support: Going above and beyond to help a single parent in need

June 27, 2019

IMG_0401.JPG​During a routine visit to a tenant's home to complete a basic maintenance request, Superintendent Ricardo Nayal noticed the unit was in disarray and that the tenant and her young child were acting differently.

"I could see she needed help beyond what I could provide, and knew I had to do something," Ricardo said. "I flagged the issue and that's when Dena was brought in to help."

Dena Forbes is a Community Services Coordinator whose job is to connect tenants to supports in the community. She visited the woman's home for a check-in. "She was very anxious at first and reluctant to receive help. I brought in a translator to help communicate with her. It took time for her to open up to me," said Dena.

After touring the home, Dena realized the mother had several challenges and was struggling to provide for her family. Dena connected the tenant to a housing support worker at a local community agency and to legal aid to help with her challenges. She also made an appointment with Ontario Works on the tenant's behalf. "We really had to build from the ground up, she had no supports whatsoever."

Within weeks, through Ricardo's action and Dena's help, the tenant was back on her feet. She had a lost identification card replaced, income from Ontario Works and a new support network. 

Dena and Ricardo play different roles at Toronto Community Housing. But their shared commitment to improving tenants' lives brought them together to help a single parent in need.

"I'm glad we could help her," Ricardo said. "It's always good to see someone succeed."

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Read more stories like this in the 2018 Annual Report.