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Young man smiling wearing pink shirt

Jim's story

You may remember Jim Leung from his story in our fiscal 2017-2018 annual report. After spending time in our crisis shelter and CIBC Rights of Passage (ROP) program, he graduated high school with honours and received a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Toronto.

Today, Jim is a graduate of U of T with a BSc in nursing. However, COVID-19 made it difficult to finish his education. Since the last part of the program moved online, he says he lost out on practical knowledge he would have gained in the field.

Also, money was tight since physical distancing kept him from his side job as a photographer. Jim worried he’d have to choose between paying rent and the fees for his nursing licence. But then, a unique opportunity came into his life in May.

After a referral made by a Covenant House staff member, a local photographer working for the City of Toronto hired Jim to assist on a photography project profiling Torontonians experiencing homelessness or poverty during COVID-19. Photos are being compiled to create a coffee table book celebrating the strength and resilience of citizens during this unique time in our city’s history.

The project was a great opportunity for Jim however, he’s keeping his sights set on the future. His goal is to join the health care team at Covenant House.

“If there’s anything I can do to help someone navigate the system and feel less alone in the world, I’d like to do that. Just because you’re homeless doesn’t mean you’re hopeless.”

*Note: To protect this youth’s identity, we have changed his name at his request and used a stock photo.