What We Do and Why
According to a recent study, 15% of people experiencing homelessness in Toronto are Indigenous – even though we only make up 0.5% of the city. This imbalance is the source of our mission to help homeless Indigenous men rediscover their mino bimaadiziwin – living a good life in health.
Na-Me-Res provides outreach, temporary, transitional, permanent housing, and much more. We take care of the whole person with our Indigenous cultural-based approach filled with respect and spirit.
Taking Care of the Whole Person
Lucas is Ojibway from the Delaware Nation of the Thames. After growing up with six brothers and his father, he was sent to prison as a young man. A six-year sentence turned to thirteen and then to sixteen until thirty-three years later, he was released. A lifetime of incarceration. A lifetime of institutionalization.
He participated in the Na-Me-Res Native Inmate Liaison Outreach(NILO) program. It was from there that he found his way to Na-Me-Res. He was accepted into the transitional Sagatay residence, programs, and classes. After two short stays, followed by a successful addiction treatment program in Ottawa, Lucas was welcomed back to Sagatay for a third stay. This time has been different. He was ready. He is 19 months sober and has turned a corner.
“You stumble, you get up, and you get help. I’ve got my spirit back. Luke is back.”
Every day he smudges, journals, and prays. He used to think it was a sign of weakness to be open and to talk. That is no more, as the rest of the guys will attest. He has come a long way and is now preparing to find a new job and a permanent home