My name is Taylor and for the past couple of years, myself and some of our Optometrists have been volunteering and providing eye care services to those in need at Homeless Connect Toronto. This year, Dr. Lillian Won and Dr. Kimberly Lee participated in this great event.

There were approximately 700 guests who came out to the event at Mattamy Athletic Centre, receiving a variety of services including eye care, foot care, hair cutting, clothing, lunch, the CityPak, ID clinic, flu shots, housing support, employment, legal, and much more.

The effort of the Vision Institute of Canada has made our vision clinic possible and given us the opportunity to help those in need. Our 1-day vision clinic cared for 89 people and we were proud to help them improve their gift of sight. Being able to see well can be empowering as it is one of the five senses that allow us to learn and communicate. Our vision clinic was able to provide pretesting, patient history evaluation, visual acuity screening, refraction for a new prescription, ocular health, and optical services. This is our fourth time volunteering for Homeless Connect and we hope to do more in the future.


Another great initiative that occurred during the day was The Citypack Project, which was started in 2012 by Chicago-based businessman and philanthropist Ron Kaplan. Hundreds of custom-designed backpacks stuffed with toiletries and other essentials were handed out during Homeless Connect Toronto. The project has so far brought more than 33,940 high-quality backpacks to the homeless in more than 81 cities nationwide. This year marks the second time the specially designed bags hit Canadian streets. In total, about 750 backpacks were handed out in Toronto this past Sunday.

For more information and media coverage, please check out the below links:

Toronto Sunhttp://www.torontosun.com/2016/10/30/haircuts-toiletries–and-more–for-torontos-homeless?channelColor=news
Toronto Star https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/10/30/homeless-get-lots-of-helping-hands-under-one-roof-at-event-on-mattamy-athletic-centre.html