Phillip once worked with the Toronto police force and lived in his own condo. Initially thought to be suffering from mild depression, he was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Faced with these challenges, in addition to subsequent mobility problems, diabetes and Crohn’s disease, Phillip did the right thing. He sought help in order to manage his health.
He found himself living on a disability pension, unable to find suitable assistance. One housing organization could not provide accessible accommodations. Another did not offer welcoming services for members of the LGBT2SQ community, of which Phillip is a member. Neither of them could assist him with his dietary needs. “I needed support and couldn’t find it anywhere,” he says.
Four years ago, after a hospitalization episode at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Phillip was referred to LOFT’s College View Supportive Housing Services. In LOFT, he found a welcoming community and a home. “LOFT meets all of my needs. The staff and the people who live with me are very accepting. They are very understanding and don’t jump to conclusions or judgements,” he says.
Through LOFT, Phillip receives meals tailored to his dietary needs, as well as medication reminders. “Meals are really good. If I eat properly and take my medication, everything is fine,” he explains.
Like many of us, Phillip has met with new challenges due to the pandemic. “When COVID first started, I had to stay in my room and my head went spinning. I had to go to the hospital,” he recounts. He is now feeling stronger, and LOFT has helped him with grocery shopping, as well as safe social and recreational activities. “It is hard with COVID, but I’m still given options. I can talk to people. I have good friends here. I love LOFT.”
LOFT’s College View Supportive Housing Services is a long-term housing program that provides assistance with meal preparation, dining room services, essential housekeeping, personal care, laundry, medication reminders, caregiver relief, escort to appointments, social and recreational activities, crisis intervention, emergency response, psychogeriatric case management, addictions support, mobile PSW services, and care coordination to up to 75 seniors.