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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

Our Meeting with the Neighbourhood Group

On a sunny day in April, we were welcomed to The Neighbourhood Group (TNG) in Kensington Market by the CEO Bill Sinclair. This non-profit centre is one of many across the GTA that aims to support communities with access to services that alleviate poverty and provide community support. In this tour, we saw all the ways this downtown community is supported by TNG.  

We toured their subsidized daycare centre and met lovely energetic children during their snack time. We saw the ESL classes that help new Canadians learn English with experienced teachers. Then, we toured the youth hub and learned about passionate young people. Some had even been supported there to write their own books on reproductive health and get them published and distributed to Toronto schools and libraries.  

Mr. Sinclair then took us through parts of TNG’s homeless shelter and told us that this shelter started with only 12 men and had now grown into a 3 layered building that helps hundreds of people by providing emergency services, addiction programming, and temporary housing units on the top floor. We ended the tour at the centre’s safe injection site that allows drug users to have a place to use their substances safely and access medical care if needed. At every part of the tour, we met some of the passionate people who work at TNG that work hard every day to connect with their community members and help them grow.  

From Mr. Sinclair, we learned that TNG has made large strides and lobbied for community housing to be built during the pandemic. In a rare, expedited process, 100 units of housing were built in only 16 weeks! Mr. Sinclair is proud of the work they have been able to accomplish but knows how much more needs to be done to help Ontarians through the housing crisis and solve poverty in the city. 

Thank you to Bill Sinclair and everyone at TNG’s Kensington location for welcoming us into your space and teaching us about poverty reduction and social programs that help communities thrive.  

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