His journey began on the street – now his passion is volunteering

After living on the street, anything positive that happens to me is a miracle because I could just have easily ended up dead. I would not be alive today without supportive housing.

Phillip lived at the Salvation Army Hostel for a year. His social worker helped him get an apartment at Houselink Community Homes. Now, after almost 20 years of membership, Phillip credits Houselink with helping him turn his life around.

Phillip began to feel like he had isolated himself. He did not know anyone when he first arrived at Houselink, so he decided to get involved and meet people. He began going to various social events and the Drop-In on a regular basis. Eventually, Phillip ran for and got a position on the Board of Directors.

Of the nine years Phillip has served on the board of directors, four of those were as the president. During his tenure as president, Houselink was awarded the 2001 Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association Award of Excellence.

Another program that Phillip is actively involved with is the Dream Team. He is a strong advocate for supportive housing and he found that this program was a great place to put these views into action.

“I am really interested in human rights,” said Phillip. “The Dream Team gives me a chance to fight for my rights and the rights of others. It makes me feel good about myself because I’m helping to make a difference.”

HomeComing Coalition also benefits from Phillip’s involvement. He was asked to join when he was president of Houselink. HomeComing changed his perspective because it gave Phillip a chance to see the challenges involved in initiating and developing supportive housing projects.

Phillip’s life has changed dramatically in 15 years. His journey began on the street and has led him to discover his passion for volunteering. “I feel better about myself when I volunteer,” said Phillip. “Volunteer work has meaning for me because I’m helping to make our society a better place.”