Get to Know Us: Allan Thayil-George

A community organizer and champion of mental health, LOFT’s Allan George helps clients live with dignity while supporting Ontario’s South Asian community of social workers.

Social work has always been one of Allan George’s passions. As a Case Manager at our supportive housing partnership at Toronto Community Housing’s Pelham Park Gardens, Allan helps people to live with dignity and independence.

Allan is a strong advocate for his clients.  Working with older adults and seniors at Toronto Community Housing, he connects them with resources to optimize their health and improve their quality of life.

“Trust is the most important thing when supporting people with mental health challenges,” he says. “Some of our referred clients have demonstrated a lack of compliance in the past.  At LOFT we build trust and rapport, allowing them to feel confident in our ability to provide the support they need.”

Allan’s work helps to reduce the strain on our health care system. By providing emotional support and assistance to clients in the comfort of their homes, hospitalizations and 911 calls can be prevented to a larger extent. Allan’s efforts, along with those of his team, are important as we continue to navigate the devastating impact of COVID-19.

Communication and access to technology have been a challenge for LOFT clients during the pandemic, as not all of them have the financial means for a cellphone, a tablet or a computer. They rely on caregivers, like Allan, to coordinate virtual medical appointments and socialization opportunities during isolation.

LOFT’s care teams have been working diligently to ensure everyone’s safety, but it can be hard to support clients when a staff member’s physical presence might put them at risk. “As a frontline worker during the pandemic, visiting clients can be difficult,” Allan explains. “You don’t want to endanger someone who is already facing health challenges. At the same time, you want to make sure they are well and that they do not feel alone, while following safety protocols and provincial guidelines.” 

Allan believes in the power of teamwork and the importance of equity. “Nothing gets accomplished by only one person. I want to acknowledge the efforts of my coworkers and LOFT’s leadership team,” he says. “As a South Asian employee at LOFT, I appreciate our organization’s support as well as the work that is being done to address racism. I strongly believe in anti-oppressive practice, and LOFT is taking great steps forward.”

Allan volunteers as the Vice-President of the Malayali Association of Social Workers, Ontario (MASWO).  This registered not-for-profit organization is dedicated to serving Social Workers of Malayali descent and their families, as well as the community at large.  In his role, Allan helps to provide people with professional development and employment opportunities, as well as newcomer settlement support and assistance to those impacted by COVID-19. Under his leadership, the MASWO’s work has recently been acknowledged by the Honorable Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, and appreciated by MPP Deepak Anand from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.  

With LOFT since 2014, Allan usually dedicates his free time to sports, playing soccer, badminton and volleyball. Now, with the challenges of social distancing, Allan enjoys exploring nature and biking with his loving wife Beena and son George.

Allan encourages those celebrating Asian Heritage Month to remember the contributions of Asian people in Canadian society.

LOFT’s Pelham Park Gardens Supportive Housing program connects Toronto Community Housing residents with everyday living needs like community support and outreach, one-on-one support, care coordination, system navigation, and one-on-one support of mental health and addiction needs and social activities.