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Homelessness in Toronto

Essay by   •  November 13, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,973 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,101 Views

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Many individuals would define leisure as time free from paid work, domestic responsibilities, and just about anything that one would not do as part of their daily routine. Time for leisure and time for work are both two separate spheres. The activities which people choose to do on their spare time benefit their own personal interests as well as their satisfactions. While some people may enjoy one activity, others pay not. Leisure is all about personal interests and what people constitute having a good time is all about. Some may say that the process of working class leisure can be seen to contribute their own subordination as well as the reproduction of capitalist class relations. Self-produced patterns of working class leisure can lead to resistance to such reproduction. This leads to social class relations and inequalities, and the fact that it they can never be completely reproduced in the leisure sphere. This film Home Feeling: Struggle for a Community, gives some examples of the role of leisure within a capitalist society dealing with issues such as class inequalities, and how they are different among various societies.

One might define the relations between police and community relations in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto to be very discriminating. The start of the film already gives some insight on the issue which the film is trying to portray. A coloured man's is being harassed because the police do not think that he has ownership for the van to which he claimed he owned. The police were violating his rights and treating him in an impolite manner simply because of the standard that has been set, claiming that all coloured individuals are violent and dangerous. This is also the case because the film has been recorded in the Jane and Finch area; where people are looked down upon and regarded as dangerous, violent and unemployed.

The video Home Feeling: A struggle for Community covers the lives and individual stories of the residents of the Jane and Finch area, primarily the Indians who make up at least 15% of the immigrants who reside in the area. The residents of the Jane and Finch area have strong feelings against the police who constantly wander their community looking for trouble or trying to cause some of their own. Many blame the police for their frustrations claiming that they feel they have no privacy because they are always being watched. Certain police officers are assigned specific duties to watch over the neighborhood for any suspicions and crime that may occur.

While many people within any given community may feel safe while having police watch over what goes on in the area, you rarely see this type of behavior occur within high-class white communities. While police claim that they are only trying to create better relationships with the Jane and Finch community, many feel that they can not enjoy any of their leisure time because of the fact that they can not do anything without being questioned or watched by the police. Not only is it hard for individuals to feel a sense of belonging and place within a community, but many families feel uncertain about their future and the futures of their children. Coloured people are constantly being discriminated against with the work world. Many employers feel that immigrants can not be trusted to hire as employees, as well as the fact that they are not well educated people. The film looks at one woman who is having trouble finding a job because she is black; she has applied for several jobs over the course of two years and finally, is hired by a company who agrees to pay her $4.50 per hour, not even minimum wage.

Unemployment is said to be the highest amongst women, young people and minorities. Most of them who do have jobs are underpaid as well as have jobs which require no skills or education, allowing for their salary to be low. Living in such a large city, Toronto, one would think that there are thousands of job opportunities available. Local manpower offices continue to receive thousands of people per day whom are seeking employment, however this problem did not seem to be decreasing back then. Minorities were simply looked down upon in the community.

The problem which arises in the Jane and Finch area is that a majority of ones spare time is leisure time. Since much of the community does not work, it is hard for one not to wander about the city and find ways to enjoy their free time. During leisure time, individuals are said to be doing their own thing and taking some time away from their troubles in life, however, the Jane and Finch community feels that their leisure time is limited due to the fact that their actions are constantly being watched by the police and they are always being violated against whether it be on the streets or in their own homes. So a majority of the community do not bother to leave their homes for the simple reason that they will be harassed by the police and questioned for no apparent reason. This limits their leisure time primarily because everyone has the right to life, liberty and freedom, but it is still difficult to understand how one can enjoy life, when they are constantly being discriminated against for no significant reason.

It is estimated that about 15,000 immigrants who have come to Canada, live in government subsidized housing. This is the highest in all of Toronto. A majority of the people who live there are single parents and teenagers who have no other ways of supporting themselves or a family. Many feel that government subsidized housing is just temporary for them and that they will eventually be able to leave the area and live somewhere better where their rights and limitations are not so limited. Many stereotype people living in government housing to be bums and having nothing, while the area in general is claimed to be one full of murders, rapists and simply a bad area to be in. People have no choice but to live in Ontario housing, and a majority of society can not come to terms with that. It is the fortunate ones who are always looking down upon the unfortunate. This is how specific communities are labeled. Many people fear going to Ontario housing if they do not live there, based on the facts that society has made known for everyone to comprehend.

The role in which leisure has amongst the relationships between leisure, place and identity, all affect one another. There are a few types of geographical conflicts over leisure, one of them being between leisure and non-leisure activities and uses of place. Within the Jane and Finch community conflicts are both gendered and raced centering out mostly males whom are coloured. A majority of hangouts the Jane and Finch community hang out in are constantly being patrolled by the cops whom are on the lookout for danger and crimes. Many of the police officers are concerned with the issue of drinking, drugs, and parties on the streets. This

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