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August 2020 Newsletter PDF version

Previous edition | Next edtion


  • Kimberly A – August 1

  • Rick P – August 5

  • Pamela M – August 7

  • Dorian D – August 10

  • Lynn W – August 14

  • Diana B – August 24 

If you want us to celebrate with you, please let us know your birthday!

Famous Birthdays


  • Jason Momoa – August 1, 1979

  • Michael Ealy – August 3, 1973

  • Louis Armstrong – August 4, 1901

  • Neil Armstrong – August 5, 1930

  • Meagan Good – August 8, 1981

  • Antonio Banderas – August 10, 1960

  • Chris Hemsworth – August 11, 1983

  • Alfred Hitchcock – August 13, 1899

  • Halle Berry – August 14, 1966

  • Mila Kunis – August 14, 1983

  • Jennifer Lawrence – August 15, 1990

  • Chris Tucker – August 31, 1971


Hello from Our Place

Hi Everyone! 


We hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the sunshine.


We are really excited to share with you some program updates that you will be seeing over the next few weeks (keep reading!) and have a bit of news for you as well.




  • Volunteers: Sister Ann has decided to retire from leading the Our Place Scripture Reflection group. While we are so sad to see her go, we are very grateful for her many years of service and wish her all the best. Thank you Sister Ann! Sending you lots of love from all of us.

  • Students: Emily and Zoe, students who were with us in the Spring, are joining us again until mid-Fall. We also have a Social Work student beginning in September who will be running virtual support groups and are available for individual appointments. We are so excited to have them join the team!

  • Meals: If you are coming for a meal and have a dietary restriction (vegetarian, allergies, etc.), make sure you call the office before 12pm on the day you will be coming. Please be sure to discard of all garbage in the bins provided around the corner from the main entrance.

  • Program Updates: We are increasing our services to 5 days a week and allowing one person at a time into the centre. Please see below for an up-to-date list of programs and services offered in August:

    • Take-away Meals: Monday-Friday, between 2:00pm and 5:00pm. Just ring the doorbell!

    • NEW: Individual Appointments to come into the centre! Appointments will be available for you to come into the centre to use the computer, Wi-Fi and/or phone, as well as meet with a staff member for support. To sign up, email, phone the office or let us know when you come to pick up your meal. Appointments are Monday to Friday at:  1:30-2:15  |  2:30-3:15  |   3:30-4:15 You must wear a mask, follow physical distancing and comply with COVID-19 screening questions prior to entry.

    • Friendly Check-Ins: Sign up for once a week phone calls, Zoom calls or emails from staff. This will give you a chance to let us know what services you need and for us to provide you with support, information and referrals.  If you would like to schedule a Zoom video call, please call the office or email Kristel at

    • Referrals & Assistance: If you need assistance filling out forms, requesting a shelter bed, finding housing, etc., call the office and we will do our best to help you.

    • Phone the Office: Staff will be available by phone Monday-Friday, between 1:00 and 5:00pm. Call at 416-598-2919 if you need support.

The pandemic has been really difficult for a lot of people (including us!) and it isn’t unusual to experience feelings of isolation, sadness and hopelessness. Please make sure to pay attention to how you’re feeling and talk to someone if you’re struggling. 

Stay connected with your support network and know that we are only a phone call away if you need a good listener.

~ Our Place 




Virtual (Online) Programs

Coming Soon:

Peer Support Group, Current Events/Discussion Group and Writing Group will soon be offered online! Stay tuned for more information…

Offered Now:  Anger Management
St. Michael’s Homes is offering an extensive Anger Management course to anyone who is interested. It is free of charge and will be offered virtually (on Zoom).

The training utilizes Cognitive-Behavioural tools and techniques to help individuals navigate tough situations. With topics such as Communication, The Cycle of Violence, and Learning from Mistakes, participants can dive deeper into the root of their anger and learn more about themselves in the process. 
There are also many opportunities for individuals to connect the lessons with their past and/or current experiences, as open discussion is encouraged. This group operates from a trauma-informed perspective, and aims to provide a safe, open, and non –judgemental space for individuals to explore their emotions and find new ways to grow.

Due to the sensitive nature of the topics being discussed, we feel that it is best to keep the groups gender-specific. This means that there is a group available for women and a separate group for men. These groups are currently being offered virtually so please inquire for information on how to access them.

When: Every Thursday, starting on July 9th. The Women’s Group will meet at 2:30pm and Men’s Group at 3:30pm.

Where: Zoom (through your phone or computer. Must have Internet access.)

To Sign Up: Email or call the Our Place office- (416) 598-2919. To complete your registration, the group facilitator will call you to introduce themselves and have a quick chat with you.




Information about CERB Transition to EI
More details about what will come next for the millions of Canadians who have been relying on the CERB benefit will be announced by the end of August, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promises that nobody will be left behind. 

•    Everyone on the CERB will be switched to Employment Insurance, because EI should cover every Canadian who is looking for work.

•    Gig workers, contract workers, and other workers who don’t currently qualify for EI, will be put on a new transitional, parallel benefit (similar to EI). This benefit will include access to training, and being able to work more hours and earn more money while receiving the benefit 

•    A sickness and caregivers benefit for Canadians not covered at work if they get COVID-19, or if their kids or parents get it and they have to take care of them

One-time $600 Payment for Canadians with Disabilities 
On July 17, the federal government announced a one-time $600 payment in recognition of the extraordinary expenses faced by persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. More details have been announced, including this website, which will be kept up-to-date.

The payment will be automatically issued to persons with disabilities who:

•    Have a valid Disability Tax Credit (DTC) certificate provided by the Canada Revenue Agency or are eligible for the DTC and apply for it by September 25, 2020;

•    Are beneficiaries, as at July 1, 2020, of Canada Pension Plan Disability or Quebec Pension Plan Disability; or

•    Are beneficiaries, as at July 1, 2020, of disability supports provided by Veterans Affairs Canada
Anyone eligible for the above programs will not have to apply to receive this payment. The payment consists of a one-time, non-taxable and non-reportable amount of $600.

The payment of up to $600 will be automatically issued in the form of a cheque or direct deposit. Payments are expected to be issued beginning this Fall.

Accessing Pet Supplies
Toronto Animal Services is providing assistance to pet owners from low income households who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance will be provided with the purchase of pet food and supplies, such as cat litter and pee pads.

Pet owners who require assistance can contact Toronto Animal Services by doing one of the below:

•    Filling in and submitting an online survey (ask Our Place staff for more deails)

•    Emailing

•    Calling 416-338-0934 between noon and 4 p.m.

Canada Child Benefit Increased
In July, the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) was increased for the 2020-21 benefit year. That means families with children under the age of 6 can receive a maximum benefit of $6,765, and $5,708 for children between 6 and 17. This is in addition to the one-time payment of $300 per child that parents should have received with their May payment as part of the COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

From the Kitchen of Our Place


Kristel’s Turon (Banana Lumpia with Caramel)
Prep Time: 10 minutes   |   Cook Time: 12 minutes   |   Servings: 6 people

•    6 pieces bananas or plantains, cut in half (lengthwise)
•    1 cup jackfruit, sliced (optional)
•    1 ½ cup sugar
•    12 pieces lumpia wrapper (spring roll)
•    2  cups cooking oil

1.    Roll the banana on the sugar plate and ensure the banana is coated with enough sugar.
2.    Place the banana with sugar coating in the spring roll wrapper and add some ripe jackfruit.
3.    Fold and lock the spring roll wrapper, use water to seal the edge
4.    In a pan, heat the oil and put-in some sugar. Wait until the brown sugar floats.
5.    Put-in the wrapped banana and fry until the wrapper turns golden brown and the extra sugar sticks on wrapper
6.    Serve hot as a dessert or a snack.


Jeanne’s Minestrone Salad

•    1.5 cups fingerling or baby red potatoes
•    1 cup green beans, cut in half
•    2 cups asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
•    2 cups gemelli or tubetti (or any short pasta you choose)
•    1/2 cup pesto
•    one 15 1/2-ounce can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
•    one 6-ounce jar roasted peppers, sliced into strips
•    salt and pepper to taste

1. Place 12 ounces fingerling or baby red potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. Spread them out on a baking sheet to cool, then slice the potatoes into 1/2-inch coins.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon salt. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add 1 cup green beans, cut in half, and 2 cups asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces so they're about the size of the pasta you're using, and blanch the vegetables just until they're bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the hot water with a spider or a strainer, rinse them with cold water, and submerge them in the ice water until completely cool, then drain, pat dry, and set aside.

3. Add 2 cups gemelli or tubetti (or any short pasta you choose) to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and put it in a large bowl to cool a bit.

4. Toss in the potatoes, asparagus, green beans, 1/2 cup pesto, one 15 1/2-ounce can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed), one 6-ounce jar roasted peppers, sliced into strips, and salt and pepper to taste. If preparing ahead of time, combine all of the ingredients 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Natasha’s Scrambled Eggs with a Kick 

Scrambled Eggs
•    3 green onion stalks, chopped
•    1 bell pepper, chopped 
•    ¼  jalapeño, seeds removed, chopped
(optional - if you don’t like spice, don’t use!)
•    ¾ can of black beans, rinsed and drained
•    6 eggs, beaten
•    1/3 cup grated cheese 
•    Salt and pepper to taste

•    ½ cup grated cheese
•    Salsa
•    Sour cream
•    Hot sauce of your choice (optional)
•    Avocado, pitted and chopped
•    Soft Tortillas

1.    Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion, peppers, jalapeños & black beans. Stir until peppers are cooked. 
2.    Add beaten eggs, salt and pepper, mix and stir frequently until eggs are cooked.
3.    Heat tortillas in the oven or in separate pan until lightly browned (if you like them crispy, brush with oil and heat for longer).
4.    Stack scrambled eggs on top of tortillas and top with cheese, salsa, sour cream, avocado and hot sauce. Serves 4.


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