They are a marginalized segment of society while they live, and too often die lonely, alone and abandoned.
Now some groups in Toronto, Ontario want to ease the suffering and emotional pain of dying homeless men by trying to grant them three simple wishes to ease their end-of-life.
The programme is called ‘Good Wishes”. Bruno Scorsone (PhD) is executive director Good Neighbours Club, an organization which will administer this unique effort.Listen
The Good Neighbours Club is a drop-in day centre for homeless men. Open every day of the year, it offers men over age 50, a place to wash, have some food, day shelter from the elements, get direction to counselling, medical and other services if sought. Scorsone says it serves several hundred men every day.
Similar to other programmes designed to grant wishes or make a dream come true for children with terminal illness, Good Wishes seeks to grant final wishes to homeless men, personalize the process of dying and to bring comfort and dignity to the last days of those who have lived a difficult life.
“It’s important that the lives of everyone at end of life be validated,” said GNC executive director Bruno Scorsone. “They have contributed to society, raised families, worked and led productive lives. Some have experienced hardship along the way. As a society, we need to honour them,” Scorsone added.
This is a unique one-year pilot project is funded with a gift from Sovereign Order of St John (Ontario branch)
Inner City Health Associates, a group of physicians working in homeless shelters and drop-ins, will provide the referrals of patients enrolled in their Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) programme.
The Good Neighbours’ Club will administer the programme and seek to fulfill the wishes of the participants. At the end of the one-year pilot project an evaluation report will be produced but Mr. Scorsone hopes that additional funds from concerned individuals and other sources will help keep the Good Wishes programme running beyond its currently scheduled end.