Resident Stories


Qassem was born in Kuwait and lived there for a total of fifteen years. After living in Kuwait, he moved to Iraq with his father, mother and four sisters. While living in Irag, Qassem had two sons. In 2003 they all moved to Beruit, Lebanon.

Due to a severe car accident resulting in the death of one of his two friends that were with him in the vehicle, Qassem underwent three surgeries focused on his head and back. Prior to the accident, Qassem had applied to relocate to Canada.  In 2013, his application was approved and he moved to Canada alone, leaving his two sons and their mother in Iraq.

When he arrived in Canada, Qassem received medical treatment in Toronto and was hospitalized for one month. Following that, he lived in Supportive Housing for three months and received help from local agencies for new comers through the United Nations.

Qassem heard about HOTT and decided to apply. As a resident with HOTT, he states that his living situation is much better now compared to what it was before in Iraq or Beirut. Qassem says that he is very fortunate and appreciative to HOTT for the great support system that they have been for him throughout his journey and as he continues to settle into a new country. “Not only do they provide me with subsidized housing but they are constantly checking in on me and making sure things are going well for me,” he states. In time, Qassem hopes to be reunited with his two sons.

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Colin was born in Scotland. At a young age he and his parents moved to Toronto.  “I had a good upbringing”, he says. “I had two good parents and I lived in a nice neighborhood.” Colin is a graduate from the University of Toronto where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree.

After living in Vancouver for almost fifteen years and having received a marketing management diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Colin returned to Toronto to help his mother who was battling lung cancer. Sadly, after his mother’s passing, Colin was left feeling hopeless and depressed. His father, who is now Colin’s only remaining relative, lives in a retirement home in Scarborough.  Although their relationship had always benefited from distance, Colin stayed in Toronto to be with his father. Colin’s struggles with alcoholism in combination with immense distress after his mother’s passing eventually led to homelessness.

While in the shelter, Colin heard about HOTT and quickly applied to become a tenant. Since becoming a resident with HOTT, Colin has lived in three of HOTT’s residences. “My living situation is considerably better since becoming a tenant of HOTT,” he states.  Colin has been very involved with HOTT now that he has stabilized in many areas of his life.  He is currently on the Board of Directors and is a member of several different committees.  He is very grateful to HOTT for their support, and the tremendous role the organization has played in his progress throughout the years.