Last Saturday, June 14, The Residences of 1425 Bayview (their address!) hosted the second annual Paws for a Cause event at St. Cuthbert’s Church in Toronto’s Leaside borough. Paws for a Cause promoted mental health awareness and raised money for Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, an organization that assists Canadians with a medical, mental or physical disability by providing them Dog Guides at no cost.
Founded in 2006, The Residences is a private organization that provides support to individuals living with serious mental health concerns. They accomplish this by breaking new ground in empowering the highest level of independence for persons living with persistent mental health issues by creating a holistic, client-driven, caring and integrating community housing model. By increasing accessibility to stable and supportive housing—a major issue confronting individuals with mental health challenges in urbanite Toronto—The Residences are changing the face of mental healthcare.
Promoting the “highest possible level of independence,” The Residences says resources are also available for individuals with mental health concerns who have difficulty supporting themselves within their community. Services included live-in and day programs for both men and women surviving severe mental health diagnoses.
As their mission is to assist Canadians with mental health concerns, the company raised $400 at Paws for a Cause last weekend, as well as important awareness about common misconceptions surrounding mental health.
For one, there is a common misconception that Dog Guides only service the blind. In fact, there are six “puppy programs” that Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides offers, including canine vision, hearing ears, autism assistance, service for individuals with physical disabilities, seizure response and diabetic alert.
The Residences of 1425 Bayview also hold strong community-based values and have established many connections in Leaside. Through their activism and community involvement, The Residences were able to secure many local sponsors for the event who graciously donated prizes.
I had the pleasure of volunteering at and participating in Paws for a Cause, which maintained strong social justice values and promoted advocacy in the mental health community. I spent the day interacting with residents of 1425 Bayview who were receptive to share their experience with my new friendly face.
A major bonus about dedicating my time to this wonderful event? I got to spend my day with dozens of adorable dogs. Not to mention, there were also in-house pet photography services being offered to individuals and families (with dogs, of course) in exchange for a pay-what-you-can-donation to Lions Foundation.
I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s event, which will hopefully continue to raise vital dollars and crucial awareness about mental health/
For more information about the programs offered at the Residences of 1425 Bayview or to learn how you can get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.